DTS Webinar Recap: We’ve Got a Problem — An Introduction to z/OS® Dumps and Debugging Tools

In large enterprises, the most complex and mission-critical business applications are entrusted to z/OS because of its unrivaled security and reliability. In any complex environment, however, unexpected errors and unplanned failures are bound to occur. When they do, there is an immediate need to understand the problem, find/fix the root cause, and prevent future errors. If you can apply automation to the remediation, you might classify as a Mainframe Champion, as defined in the latest BMC Mainframe Survey.

Fortunately, z/OS programmers have access to a large set of debugging tools, including dumps, traces, log records, and more. The ability to leverage these tools, particularly system dumps, is an important part of a programmer’s job description and a daily workflow.

As with all operating systems, z/OS is unique in both its ability to debug and the way debugging is performed. This was the focus of our November educational webinar, presented by DTS CTO Steve Pryor.

While it is a vast subject, there are aspects of Dumps and Debugging exclusive to z/OS, which is where Pryor spends most of the hour-long session. In-depth examples can be found in the slide deck from the presentation, available for download here.

What can an ABEND Tell You?

ABENDs (abnormal terminations) are of two types – User ABENDs (generated from an application or utility) and System ABENDs (caused by an error performing a system-related function). Debugging user abends requires an understanding of what the program is trying to do and what condition is indicated by the user abend, as specified in the program or utility documentation. System abends occur when a system function, such as obtaining virtual storage or other resources, fails, or when an instruction cannot correctly be executed. Typically, application programmers are called upon to resolve user abends, while system abends are addressed by the system programmer or storage administrator.

Most abends will be accompanied by a formatted dump, placed on either a SYSUDUMP or SYSABEND dataset, or for a larger system-related problem, a SYSMDUMP dataset . Many abends are related to supervisor call (SVC) instructions. In these cases, the last two digits of the abend code will identify the SVC. This can be a useful clue as to which type of system function failed and how to attack the problem.

In addition to SVCs, Program Exceptions indicate that the CPU cannot continue operation due to a problem with the instruction being executed. Program exceptions can be identified in many different ways, which are also covered in the webinar.

Common Error Types
What are the most common error types encountered in z/OS? From addressing errors and data errors to instruction errors and others, such as timing, loop and wait errors, each is identifiable if you know what you are looking for.

While an ABEND is a “hard” error, errors such as “incorrect output” are logic errors, which are more difficult to debug and require more in-depth knowledge of the application.

You’ve Identified the Error – now What?

Once the source of the error is known, what tools are available? The most common are discussed in the webinar, what they do and what to expect from them. This includes a brief conversation about sending the dump to IBM when necessary.

At closing, Pryor recommends a number of reference materials available and the types of issues covered in each.

More about Dumps and Debugging Tools in our webinar: “We’ve Got a Problem: An Introduction to z/OS® Dumps and Debugging Tools” is a 60-minute informative and educational look at an important topic in the mainframe space. If you weren’t able to attend, you can view it on-demand and download a copy of the slide deck used in the presentation by using this link.

DTS Software Announces Day 1 Support for IBM® z/OS® Version 2.5 for Its Product Portfolio of Mainframe Storage Management Solutions

RALEIGH, NC, (PRWEB) OCTOBER 13, 2021 – DTS Software, a leading global mainframe storage automation and systems administration software vendor, today confirmed immediate compatibility of all its products with IBM®’s latest z/OS® V2R5 release. IBM announced the release in July 2021 and made it GA on September 30, 2021.

IBM z/OS powers the IT engine of the largest, most complex, business-critical IT environments in the world. DTS Software has partnered with IBM for decades to supplement its products with crucial capabilities that customers leverage in these enterprise IT environments. DTS products complement IBM’s scalability and performance with storage management solutions equipped with automation to ensure the availability of services to required service level agreements.

“DTS Software products are built with the IT system interoperability and solution flexibility to facilitate day-one support for IBM, every release,” said Steve Pryor, DTS Software CTO. “Additionally, because of our deep experience with the z/OS operating system and z/OS storage, clients find DTS solutions are some of the most critical components of their system software stack.”

IBM’s release of z/OS V2R5 enables innovative development to support hybrid cloud and AI business applications. This is accomplished by enabling next-generation systems operators and developers to have easy access and a simplified experience with IBM z/OS, all while relying on the most optimal usage of computing power and resources of IBM Z® servers for scale, security, and business continuity. To learn more about the latest z/OS release, visit the z/OS homepage: https://www.ibm.com/it-infrastructure/z/zos.

No special considerations for the IBM z/OS change are needed other than upgrading your DTS Software products to the most current DTS Software version 7.1. DTS customers may visit https://dtssoftware.com/support for additional assistance or questions about the new z/OS version.

About IBM
IBM is a global technology and innovation company headquartered in Armonk, N.Y. It is the largest technology and consulting employer in the world, with more than 375,000 employees serving clients in 170 countries. Just completing its 22nd year of patent leadership, IBM Research has defined the future of information technology with more than 3,000 researchers in 12 labs located across 6 continents. For more information about IBM, visit http://www.ibm.com.

About DTS Software
DTS Software, LLC is recognized worldwide as a leader in enterprise storage management technology. Specializing in products for z/OS, Hitachi VOS3 and Fujitsu MSP operating systems, DTS Software products provide superior functionality and features that allow managers and users to more effectively utilize their investment in storage systems. The company was founded in 1991 and currently has over 1,000 customers in the US, Canada, Europe, and the Far East. For more information, visit https://dtssoftware.com.

DTS Software Announces TechChannel Hosted Webinar: ‘Aggregation without Aggravation: When Putting More Log Data In Your SIEM is a Good Thing’

Mainframe storage management provider DTS Software is slated to sponsor a TechChannel webinar on Wednesday, July 14, 2021, featuring guest speaker Reg Harbeck and industry expert Steve Pryor. The event will focus on storage event awareness and why the metadata from it is a must-have for better security and compliance visibility.

DTS Software, a leading global mainframe storage management software vendor, today announced sponsorship for a TechChannel (https://techchannel.com) webinar titled, “Aggregation without Aggravation: When Putting More Log Data in Your SIEM is a Good Thing” on Wednesday, July 14, 2021 at 1:00 p.m. EDT/10:00 a.m. PDT.

More data is not always better where InfoSec is concerned. We’ll explain why storage-event awareness and the data from it is a great addition to your SIEM events for better security and compliance visibility.

High-profile cyber breaches continue to make headlines in spite of the log data available to security analysts. The indicators are there, but how do you make sense of the vast amount of data to see the cyberthreat on the horizon and take a proactive stand on protecting the data?

This webinar will focus on mainframe storage management events that can be added to the mix of SIEM event data currently collected and correlated to unearth the full cyberthreat picture across your enterprise. The general indicators of cyberthreat in storage are mostly file integrity management or FIM related, but FIM is difficult on the mainframe. IBM® z/OS® ESMs (External Security Managers – RACF, CA ACF2, and CA Top Secret) are the standard for SYSLOG data on the mainframe for security and a great start, but some events are not tracked by these facilities. Experts Reg Harbeck (Founder of Mainframe Analytics, Ltd. http://www.mainframeanalytics.com) and Steve Pryor (DTS CTO) will shed some light on leveraging dfSMS events alongside other SIEM event data to give a fuller picture of threat vectors zeroing in on your most precious IT asset, your mainframe.

Key points to be addressed:

  • The background of SIEMs and of mainframe storage event awareness
  • Which storage management event logs can be leveraged to reduce regulatory and compliance risk for data security
  • Which storage events are critical for cyber forensics, a critical component of many data governance regulations
  • How to pass along valuable storage management knowledge to the new wave of mainframe storage managers who are growing up in regulated data protection environments (GDPR, CCPA, HIPAA, FISMA, PCI DSS, SOX, other)

Guest speaker Harbeck is a mainframe industry expert and IBM Champion for Z mainframes who has worked in IT and mainframes for more than three decades. During this time, he has consulted, presented, written and taught courses on mainframe-related matters worldwide, and is heavily involved in the mainframe ecosystem.

“It’s easy to forget that storage is part of pretty much everything that is subject to security and regulations in IT,” said Chief Strategist at Mainframe Analytics Ltd, Reg Harbeck. “If you don’t have dynamic and historical insights into relevant storage behaviors, you don’t have a complete security or compliance picture.”

The webinar will also feature DTS Software’s CTO, Steve Pryor, who will provide a few practical use cases for a storage-management security approach and discuss how this method can advance mainframe business enablement and avoid violating a multitude of regulations.

“Policy rules are obviously good to help keep you out of regulatory and compliance hot water, but also in a less publicized fashion, they can help save money,” said Pryor. “We’re helping to elevate policy rules above a simple email and incorporate them into the client’s technology stack.”

As large enterprises continue to negotiate the mainframe skills gap, next-generation mainframe professionals have much to learn about the storage management tools they use in addition to a myriad of other non-traditional applications and infrastructure computing concepts dating back to the 1960s. But for both new and experienced mainframers, their work is often more focused on technology than strategic business enablement. This webinar will demonstrate how to use storage policy to advance security, compliance, and automated management to improve business services delivery today and into the future. To learn more about this upcoming webinar or to register, visit https://hubs.la/H0NGgbh0.

TechChannel and DTS Software July 2021 Webinar Details:

  • Title: ‘Aggregation without Aggravation: When Putting More Log Data in Your SIEM is a Good Thing’
  • When: Wednesday, July 14, 2021 | 12:00 p.m. CDT / 1:00 p.m. EDT
  • Speakers: Reg Harbeck, Mainframe Analytics chief strategist / Steve Pryor, DTS Software chief technology officer
  • Register: https://hubs.la/H0NGgbh0

About TechChannel
TechChannel is published by MSPC, a full-service content marketing agency that works with several top brands nationwide. TechChannel produces weekly TechBeat newsletters that provide thought leadership and technical content for our Enterprise and SMB audiences. In addition, bimonthly themed e-books provide in-depth content on a single topic for the Enterprise and SMB audiences we serve.

Visitors to techchannel.com will find thought leadership content, technical articles, podcasts and more. Advertising from business partners, along with webinars, whitepaper postings, etc., also add value to the site.

About DTS Software
DTS Software, LLC is recognized worldwide as a leader in enterprise storage management technology. Specializing in products for the OS/390, MVS, Hitachi VOS3 and Fujitsu MSP operating systems, DTS Software products provide superior function and features that allow managers and users to more effectively utilize their investment in storage systems. The company was founded in 1991 and currently has over 1,000 customers in the US, Canada, Europe, and the Far East. For more information, visit https://dtssoftware.com.

 

Article courtesy of prweb.com

DTS Software Announces the Availability of Latest Release of its Storage Control Center Suite of IBM® z/OS® Storage and System Management Products

DTS Software announces the general availability of release 7.1 of the Storage Control Suite of storage and system management products with improved support for the latest z/OS version 2.4.

DTS Software, a leading global mainframe storage management software vendor, today announced the latest release of the Storage Control Suite (SCC) for z/OS. Since its founding in 1991, DTS Software has continually provided sophisticated, high-quality systems software to meet the needs of data center managers and systems and storage administrators. Release 7.1 builds on this tradition with numerous enhancements in functionality, usability, and reliability for its mission-critical role in the IBM mainframe environment.

“We’re pleased to make this major release of our storage management software generally available to customers on Feb. 1,” said DTS Software Chief Technology Officer Steve Pryor. “Seven dot one brings a host of new functions to complement the latest enhancements to IBM® DFSMS including dataset encryption, a relevant topic given the high-profile cyber breach in the U.S. in December of 2020, and support for the most recent (2.4) and future release of z/OS.”

The latest 7.1 release includes several enhancements and features requested by the DTS Software user community. Release 7.1 introduces several new policy rules environments and variables including encryption, RLS, tape, new environments, and more. All maintenance fixes for DTS SCC version 6.1 have been incorporated into source code and updated, plus more easily readable documentation with more use-case examples is included. The new release will be GA on Monday, Feb. 1, 2021 and will be downloadable directly from the DTS Software support site which you can visit at https://www.dtssoftware.com/support/. Older releases of SCC will continue to be supported as long as practicable, including on older z/OS releases. DTS recommends running the most current release of both SCC and IBM’s z/OS.

There are additional DTS Products included in version 7.1 that have enhancement updates. Read more below.

Allocation Control Center provides installations with flexible policies to provide standards for creating, using, and deleting datasets, job execution parameters, tape and disk device management, and more.

Allocation Control Center Monarch Enhancements

  • ACC is renamed to ACC Monarch with an emphasis on systemwide standards enforcement
  • Improved GDG-base standards enforcement
  • IDCAMS DELETE and dataset OPEN enhancements
  • Improved TAPE subpooling and device selection

Space Recovery System effectively eliminates production and test out-of-space errors while providing improved dataset and disk volume utilization.

SRS Enhancements

  • New “timed retry” space error recovery technique
  • SMS Storage Group overlimit warnings and actions
  • Critical Resource Early Warning Policy Rules

SMS Debug and Audit provides tools that give the storage administrator a more complete understanding of their environment, including ACS routine logic tracing, ACS testing, and SMS construct validation.

SMS Debug and Audit Enhancements

  • SMS Configuration Audit Trail and ISPF interface
  • Updated ACS Test Case Generation
  • Reporting on Used/Unused SMS Constructs

Easy-Exit provides installations with centralized policy rules for all major z/OS subsystems, including JES2, DFSMShsm, FTP, RACF (including password and passphrase processing), batch job execution, TSO logon, and more, without the need for assembler-language skills.

Easy-Exit Enhancements

  • New environment – TSO SUBMIT command exit to enforce policy rules for submitted jobs
  • New environment – z/OS console command exit to enforce policy rules for console commands
  • New environment – support for module fetch and LLA exits to assist with COBOL V6 migration

To learn more about DTS Software’s suite of storage management products visit https://www.dtssoftware.com/products/.

About DTS Software

DTS Software, LLC is recognized worldwide as a leader in enterprise storage management technology. Specializing in products for the OS/390, MVS, Hitachi VOS3 and Fujitsu MSP operating systems, DTS Software products provide superior function and features that allow managers and users to more effectively utilize their investment in storage systems. The company was founded in 1991 and currently has over 1,000 customers in the US, Canada, Europe, and the Far East.