Aside from the obvious “big picture” issues, 2021 served up two headline-worthy topics of potential concern to DTS clients. In July, IBM® announced the release of z/OS® 2.5, describing it as the next-generation operating system designed to accelerate client adoption of hybrid cloud and AI, and drive application modernization projects. DTS Software welcomed the innovation, as all our products are “built with the IT system interoperability and solution flexibility to facilitate day-one support for IBM, every release,” according to Steve Pryor, DTS Software CTO.

Then, in November the U.S. Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) announced that it was tracking and responding to a new widespread remote code execution vulnerability (CVE-2021-44228) affecting Apache Log4j software library versions 2.0-beta9 to 2.14.1. Unlike some of our competitors, DTS’s software products do not make use of Apache, other internet servers, Java code, or the Log4j framework, so none of our product installations were exposed to the CVE-2021-44228 (Log4j) vulnerability.

2022 Will be an Exciting Year for Users of ACC Monarch

Current initiatives across all of IT, regardless of platform, center on modernization and where applicable, leveraging automation to help keep costs down. An integral component of modernization is storage management and your ability to move and allocate storage for data and applications; if you can apply automation here it’s a huge win for your data center. As hybrid cloud environments proliferate, the enforcement of storage policy has never been more critical.

The standards enforcement built into ACC Monarch delivers the normalization and categorization that allows for efficient storage administration and provisions for datasets to reside where they belong, whether on disk, tape, or cloud. And above all, ACC Monarch provides centralized, visible policy enforcement that eliminates beyond on-off email chains to solve this problem.

ACC Monarch has very unique abilities to perform standards enforcement, not just at allocation time (as done in a more limited manner by the SMS ACS routines), but also at OPEN/CLOSE, EXTEND and DELETE. ACC does more than just identify standards violations – it can alert administrators, write SMF records for later analysis, and even override JCL and IDCAMS parameters to enforce standards (including those for DSKEYLBL, the encryption key labels mentioned here).

On our roadmap and scheduled for a summer 2022 release, DTS Software will introduce Encryption Key Assignment Management and Reporting as a critical component of ACC Monarch. This new feature allows the ACC rules to help determine which encryption key labels are applied when a dataset is created, and identify and alert key label use that violates standards. Additionally, ACC Monarch will control RENAMing of encrypted datasets, and report on which encryption key labels are in use, which are unused, most frequently and least frequently used, and so on.

DTS Archived Webinars and their benefits

In the spirit of “paying it forward,” DTS is happy to continue our complimentary monthly educational webinar series. Whether you are a seasoned mainframer or relatively new to z/OS, a review of best practices and how-to information is never a bad thing. Our goal with each webinar is simply to provide useful insight and knowledge to help you avoid problems before they arise. 

Now is a great time to revisit our past webinar recordings and presentation slides in PDF format. All are available for you to view whenever you like, as many times as you’d like. Visit our on-demand library here.

We’ll see you at SHARE in Columbus– and Beyond!

SHARE in Dallas was an unexpected and pleasant surprise. In January, organizers were unsure of attendance and we saw overwhelming support for the event and it was great to see the mainframe community come together in person. We couldn’t be more excited about returning to the marketplace in person at SHARE in Columbus! While we appreciate the benefits of (and continuity provided by) virtual conferences, the positive experience of personal interaction cannot be denied. We treasure the one-on-one conversations with our clients and industry colleagues and rely on them to help learn about what the market needs and to shape our product roadmap. On to Columbus!