When the software operating on your Mainframe is maintained properly, you almost never have a problem with it.
But this powerful piece of equipment needs regular maintenance, software patches and security updates to continue performing at optimal levels. For example, a PTF [Program Temporary Fix] comes out for Z/OS and needs to be applied. More storage needs to be allocated to a database. CICS is giving an ABEND error code. Someone from across the globe is trying to gain access to your sensitive information. These are mainframe headaches that can turn into nightmares if not addressed promptly and correctly.
Your Mainframe Support Team
Think of your senior systems programmers as first responders. When an emergency situation occurs, your people respond and fix the problem as quickly as possible.
In many mainframe environments, this is what your systems programmers are doing. They are monitoring the system, being proactive by applying the appropriate patches to the system, upgrading the software, upgrading security and verifying there is no trouble.
New Iron Solutions approach to mainframe systems administration is all about responding quickly. Our organization is composed of multiple teams and each team member has a specialized functional assignment. Your mainframe is the most robust and reliable piece of equipment in your data center. There is a very good chance that your mainframe has never experienced a Sev 1 or Sev 2 error. Its design and engineering are second to none.
But the IT mainframe workforce is aging. Many are retiring and leaving the work force, and not enough graduating IT professionals are interested in working with mainframes. You may have already discovered gaps in coverage and you pray that nothing goes wrong until you can find this increasingly rare skill set.
If you are operating a small to midsize mainframe, there is a good chance you do not need a systems programmer for 40 hours a week. You have a skilled Z/OS systems programmer that is covering DB2 or CICS. They know the environment, they do a great job. However, when something goes wrong outside of their primary skill set, they will burn a significant amount of time working out the issue, which can lead to a complete outage or a problem in a different area. They go on vacation, take maternity/paternity leave or are out sick for a while which can be a huge problem should something go wrong during that time.
You may not need a dedicated mainframe programmer for 40 hours a week, but you can sleep at night knowing they are there if you need them, at least when they are fully available.
This is where New Iron Solutions comes in. If you’re looking for a strategic partner for your mainframe systems, our experts can help you achieve your organizational goals and optimize your IT effort. We can help you leverage our extensive experience with managing simple to highly complex environments and tailor a solution that cost effectively meets your needs.
Mainframe Administration Services
Increase Quality, Mitigate Risk and Reduce Mainframe Costs
The concept originated in discussions with senior-level IT executives who, continuously pressured to balance operational excellence with cost effectiveness, expressed frustration with the difficulties they faced when attempting to attract and retain experienced, highly-qualified mainframe systems professionals. Most expressed a high level of dissatisfaction with what they saw as a lack of return on their investments in these individuals.
One CIO summed up the issue with his organization’s mainframe administrators by stating, “If they aren’t working on a problem or upgrades then I really have no idea what they’re doing. I’d love to reduce my staff levels but I need to have people available because, one way or another, when my systems are having problems, I need somebody to respond”.
We believe that the roles of mainframe administrators have much in common with those of firefighters:
- Mainframe administrators provide critical services, typically acting as first responders to a variety of incidents.
- The relative importance of the services performed demands that a sufficient number and mix of skilled individuals be available to respond at any given time.
- Each role requires considerable levels of training and experience, a condition that severely limits the available pool of qualified people.
If the scope and impact of a given mainframe incident is deemed sufficiently severe, then multiple Mainframe teams can be dispatched to assist with the situation.
Our tight focus and disciplined approach to the management of mainframe systems enables us to establish high levels of quality, which combined with our drive to continually improve our processes through frameworks like Six Sigma, allows us to deliver levels of quality that are typically superior to those of traditional in-house staffing models.
The on-demand pricing model (dictated by the size and complexity of each client’s unique situation) typically delivers a higher level of service with our clients typically realizing a reduction in costs of 30% or more.
We offer both temporary and permanent support for the following mainframe systems administration functions:
- Z/OS (including Linux on the mainframe, UNIX System Services and automation)
- Z/VM (Z/Linux and Guest Operating Systems)
- Disaster Recovery
- Storage Management (IBM and EMC)
- Security (RACF [Vanguard], ACF2 and Top Secret)
- Technical database administration for DB2 and IMS
- Capacity planning
- Performance and tuning
- Configuration management
- Level 3 support for your application developers
Organizations should consider when they are ready to …
- Partner with a vendor they can trust
- Reduce the risks associated with an aging mainframe workforce
- More efficiently manage IT demands with continuously shrinking budgets
- Better manage mainframe costs with a pricing model that can adjust with your organization’s specific needs
If you’re looking for a strategic partner for your mainframe systems, our IT experts can help you achieve your organizational goals. New Iron Solutions can help you leverage our extensive experience with managing simple to highly complex mainframe environments, and we can tailor a solution that cost effectively meets or exceeds your expectations.
Let us simplify the support of your mainframe by providing you with highly skilled resources for the right amount of time to fit your budget.