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Vol. 7 No. 2 April 2008

Need persists for mainframe storage skills

MAINFRAME STORAGE systems, once the default setup for enterprises, have been supplanted in many businesses by open-systems networked storage. Seemingly passé mainframe skills like Cobol haven't disappeared, but what about mainframe administration? Barry Katz, a mainframe storage management pro at IBM, believes that's where the shortage will occur. "If all the mainframe storage folks went to a desert island, over time, applications would stop running," he says. Mainframe batch environments use the JCL scripting language to run jobs. JCL uses space parameters that define how much space should be allocated to a data set (the mainframe's file). Over time, data set sizes change and space parameters are no longer accurate. Affected applications suffer continuous application space abnormal ends, and might not complete on time. "If there's no experienced storage management people with the skills to analyze that space change, whoever's around will guess what the changes should be and cross their fingers," says Katz. By Katz's estimate, ...

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