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Mainframe Hosting Technical Details

Technical Details

z/OS On-line Access

We offer traditional (CICS and IMS) online processing time, available by the minute, and online Web and Middleware Services running under z/OS and z/Linux. CICS and IMS, defined below, are the predominant online transaction managers used by DIT for z/OS. Customer Information Control System (CICS) is a general-purpose mainframe based data communication system that supports a network of thousands of terminals. CICS provides an environment for the execution of online application programs, including interfaces to files and database products, such as VSAM, DB2, and IMS. CICS can also be accessed by MQSeries via MQCleint and/or MQServers and CICS Transaction Gateway (CTG).

Information Management System (IMS) is a database/data communication system that allows our customers to access IMS-defined databases and DB2 databases through attached communication terminals. IMS controls the terminals and allows the customer to communicate with IMS databases utilizing high level programming languages. IMS can also be accessed by MQSeries via MQClient or MQServers.

z/OS Batch Processing

We provide a safe environment for processing mainframe-related programs in a batch environment. Multiple Logical Partitions (LPARs) have been created in order to provide a more controlled environment for customers to process their batch test and production workloads.

Currently, both test and production environments are available to our customers. Because processing time is slower in the test environment, the cost to customers is lower. Mainframe Enterprise Servers make up the core of the batch environment. These servers, coupled with the disk drives, optical devices, and robotic and virtual tape units, provide the complete system for a customer to execute batch programs.

z/Linux Processing

Linux is a popular version of the UNIX operating system that runs on a variety of hardware platforms including the mainframe, system z. Linux is widely used as a server Operating System (OS) and is the most popular open source operating system. Currently, z/Linux is distributed along with technical support and training by Red Hat Software (www.redhat.com).

Our Service Support provides a safe, secure, and redundant environment for mainframe based Linux processing. Red Hat Enterprise Linux runs in two redundant mainframe chassis as dedicated virtual memory LPARs that are designed for both application load balancing and failover in the event of hardware or software issues. Service Support provides mainframe, system z, Linux resources for standard Linux applications, including enhanced Apache Web hosting services, Middleware Services and more secure Web services through Apache Reverse Proxy services that front-end Internet exposed application servers. Using Integrated Facility for Linux® (IFL) in conjunction with Red Hat Enterprise Linux, our Service Support can quickly provide complete Linux services and access to existing mainframe databases in an efficient cost effective manner without the need for additional server hardware. We utilize Velocity Software's ESALP application to monitor and tune virtual server performance in order to optimize utilization of system and application resources.

Database

Database Services ensures that customer databases are protected and monitored by establishing backup and recovery procedures, providing a secure database environment, and monitoring database performance. Database software support for DB2, IMS, Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, and VSAM is available for any release currently supported by the database vendor or installed in the DIT environment.

View More Information About Database Services

Middleware

Our MSSM Middleware Services adhere to the DIT policy that software shall be supported and maintained at a version level of n-1*. Software patches and upgrades will be coordinated with customers and implemented in a timely manner while minimizing risk to customer applications. All patches and upgrades will be coordinated and scheduled through our Change Management process to mitigate risks and manage change. Our policy requires customers to follow the Incident Management process for reporting Incidents and Service Requests. Please contact our Service Desk to report Incidents and Service Request issues regarding the above products with instructions to assign to Middleware Services.

Our MSSM Middleware Services require a minimum three-tier environment consisting of Development, User Acceptance and Production. These environments can be DIT supported OS and hardware platforms or customer supplied and supported platforms listed by IBM as supported platforms for middleware software. Customer administration of their applications for certain middleware software products can be granted for Development and UAT if desired, but not for Production. Our Middleware Services provide disaster recovery for middleware software running on DIT MSSM Middleware Shared Servers. Customers should develop application and platform disaster recovery plans based on their needs for those applications not hosted on DIT supported shared or non-shared servers.

View Our Platform Offerings

Pricing for Middleware software is based on IBM's Per Value Unit (PVU) for distributed and z/Linux environments. PVU pricing is defined by IBM based on the following criteria:

  • Number of processors allocated for use in the server or virtual server at a minimum of one core
  • Brand type of processor
  • Processor sizing of single, dual or quad core

This method correlates to IBM's current model for pricing software under their Passport Advantage Software Agreement with the State of North Carolina. We charge for initial software licensing and yearly software support charges for maintenance of the product required by the customer.

Pricing for Mainframe Middleware software is based on MIPS and is included in our overall mainframe rates.

Description of Products

MQSeries - allows connectivity to and from a number of different Operating System Platforms to pass and store data.

CTG - allows access from any Web application on any platform to legacy CICS applications.

DB2 Connect - allows connectivity to any DIT supported DB2 mainframe database.

WAS - application servers allow customers to deploy their applications in an environment that could be accessed by Web servers using HTTP, HTTPS, SOAP or other protocols.

This is the current DIT supported middleware software listing. As newer middleware technologies become part of our MSSM Middleware Services offering, this list will be updated to reflect those offerings.

* n-1 = current software version minus 1

Service Websites

Mainframe Hosting:
http://sccw.its.state.nc.us/

Middleware:
http://middleware.its.state.nc.us/middleware/

Host on Demand:
http://scc.its.state.nc.us/HOD/hodhomeblue.htm
OR
http://3270.its.state.nc.us

System Ware:
www.sysware.nc.gov

Hours of Availability

Operational service is available to customers 24/7, excluding planned outages, maintenance windows and unavoidable events. Maintenance windows are used only when needed for planned changes that have gone through our Change Management process. In addition to our Standard Maintenance Windows, site-specific and service-specific changes may be coordinated with customers at non-standard times.

Standard operational support hours are from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday - Friday EST. On-call, outside normal business hours, weekend, and holiday support is provided for production systems only. After hours support is provided for test systems as needed and scheduled by customers with at least a two-week lead time. This allows our MSSM to coordinate system support events, required for day-to-day operations, around customer needs.

Standard maintenance windows are defined as:

  • 4:00 a.m. to 7:00 a.m. each Thursday (Network & Firewall Maintenance)
  • 4:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. each Sunday (Network, Firewall, z/OS and z/Linux)