Mainframe Reports that Customs Clearing Agency Needs a Mainframe

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Mainframe Reports that Customs Clearing Agency Needs a Mainframe

I'm expecting an important letter from China, and it's being shipped via one of the world's biggest express shipping companies. Unfortunately it's now two days late (and counting). I have been following the letter's progress online, and here's an actual record from the system:

Shanghai, China29/06/20110:33Clearing agency computer system breakdown;
temporarily unable to transmit shipment info

That reminds me of another true story. IBM mainframes offer a standard "call home" feature, and most customers use it. The system itself can contact IBM and report any urgent issues that might impact service. One day a mainframe automatically contacted IBM and (paraphrasing) reported that "It's getting warm in here. I'll keep running, but if it gets much hotter then I'll reduce CPU speed and give priority to the most important services and users. Before I do that, it'd be nice if a human investigated." An IBM technician immediately telephoned the customer and asked that they check their data center. Sure enough, a major server vendor's (not IBM's) blade server had caught fire and was burning out of control. (If there was a fire suppression system it didn't activate.) The mainframe literally saved the data center.

by Timothy Sipples June 30, 2011 in Business Continuity


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Wow, that's neat! IBM mainframes save lives!

Posted by: Jonathan | Jun 30, 2011 10:11:13 AM

That is an excellent story! I would love to know particulars if you were at liberty to reveal them.

I've been following The Mainframe Blog for some time now (finally subscribed today, I'm here in the TypePad neck-of-the-woods). I worked at IBM GPD San Jose, modelling performance using queuing theory, for storage controllers and DASD. I was very happy at IBM, wish I were still with them, although GPD San Jose is no more.

I've continued to use mainframes, VM/CMS for development more so in the past, MVS/TSO with SPF, JCL etc. in the present. Even tried Netezza once, after the IBM acquisition!

Recall RACF? Of course YOU do! Well, it is alive and well, with fastidious documentation available from IBM Colorado's pub website. I was reading the online RACF system admin user's guide last week, as the recent torrent of tacky hacky is increasingly worrisome. RACF was intended for z/OS. A UNIX version exists too.

I have a question, please: Would it, could it, be extensible to any of the shops whose data was recently compromised? Is RACF superior (nothing is impervious, I realize) to security solutions typically implemented by most enterprises today? Whatever that may be. Citrix Defender?

Any thoughts or suggestions about this would be greatly appreciated. I truly haven't known who else, or where, to ask, not without being ridiculed. Or receiving a dismissive answer that was uninformed. I'm not worried about ridicule, or ignorance, here on The Mainframe Blog.

Thank you, and keep up the good work!

Posted by: Ellie K | Jul 6, 2011 12:32:17 AM

article that appeared good enough to be read so that adds to knowledge when reading

Posted by: Andy | Jul 11, 2011 4:04:27 AM

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