IBM Systems Lab Services

Four ways to build up your IBM Z networking skills

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“I’ve lost all of my networking on IBM Z skills. Where can I find help?”

Has your company found itself in this position due to staff attrition, budget constraints or inability to backfill resources? Are you under pressure to secure your IBM Z network and/or critical IBM Z TCP/IP-based applications after a security audit? IBM Systems Lab Services for IBM Z and LinuxONE has provided support for companies around the world on these issues, and we can help you get back on track.

Here are four ways to build up your IBM Z networking skills.

1.Conduct a networking health check to understand the current mainframe environment.

As part of the networking health check, IBM Systems Lab Services can review your current mainframe configuration settings to provide recommended changes per IBM best practices for improving high availability and scalability while identifying any single points of failure. The findings and recommendations from the health check are documented in a report specific to your environment. We present each of the findings in the report to you in an open forum for questions and answers to ensure each of the recommendations is understood.

2. Provide skills transfer to your staff on their current mainframe networking environment.

Lab Services can also step through your current mainframe networking configuration files in a workshop-style format with your staff. This workshop can help you understand each of the mainframe networking components, parameters and how they interact to support your infrastructure.

3. Provide mainframe networking problem diagnosis, monitoring and troubleshooting hints and tips.

In a workshop format, IBM can provide hints, tips and recommended displays for troubleshooting problems and monitoring your SNA and TCP/IP mainframe networking environment. This includes discussing the available diagnostic traces and how to collect the traces for further problem diagnosis.

4. Secure and protect your IBM Z network and TCP/IP-based applications.

IBM can assess your IBM Z network to identify security gaps and provide recommended actions to mitigate the risks in accordance with Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS 3.2) and Security Technical Implementation Guide (STIG) requirements. IBM can also assess and provide recommended actions to secure and encrypt your critical System Z TCP/IP based applications. The findings and recommendations from the assessment are documented in a report specific to your environment. We present each of the findings in the report to you in an open forum for questions and answers to ensure each of the recommendations is understood.

These services from IBM can help your staff feel more confident about how your current mainframe network configurations are constructed and what commands to use for monitoring the mainframe networking environment. Your team will be better prepared in knowing which diagnostic traces they should collect based on the problem at hand, and this can lead to quicker turnaround on problem resolution. Your team will learn what IBM Z networking security gaps exist and how to mitigate those risks in the current environment. In addition, your team will learn how to secure and encrypt its critical IBM Z TCP/IP-based applications to meet security compliance standards.

Where to find support for IBM Z networking skills

Lab Services IBM Z and LinuxONE is an experienced group of IT consultants with proven expertise on the IBM Z and LinuxONE platforms to help clients design and deliver highly available z/OS, zVM, KVM, and Linux infrastructure solutions. Our specialty practices include:

  • Hybrid cloud
  • Blockchain
  • Analytics for cognitive business
  • Enterprise security
  • Enterprise Linux
  • Service predictability
  • Performance
  • IBM Z networking and networking security

Contact us today if we can help with your next project.

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