Hot Topics content connects you with System z technical leaders and experts who design, code, test, document, teach, and support z/OS and its products.

Beginning in July 2017, Hot Topics content is going digital and will now be distributed (on an ongoing basis) across numerous Mainframe channels including:

  • The Hot Topics page on the IBM Systems Magazine web site
  • IBM Systems Magazine (Mainframe edition) - You can subscribe here
  • Mainframe EXTRA (eNewsletter) - You can subscribe here
  • Mainframe Marketplace (eNewsletter)

Plus, you'll be able to continue to read the latest Hot Topics information from this site.

Hot Topics 2019

ICSF Delivers With the FMID HCR77D0 Release
August 2019 | by Bob Petti

Cryptographic Support for z/OS V2R2 - z/OS V2R3, also known as ICSF FMID HCR77D0 or web deliverable number 18, was released in December of 2018. The updates contained in this release vary from support for new algorithms and new security features to availability enhancements for the ICSF started task.

The Pervasive Encryption Information Goldmine
July 2019 | by Jacky Doll, Cecilia Carranza Lewis

Pervasive encryption is a consumable approach to enable extensive encryption associated with protecting data and achieving compliance mandates. With the z14, you can encrypt all data—in flight and at rest—faster, and less expensively. Pervasive encryption capabilities on the z14 enable you to protect data efficiently, allowing you to encrypt data at the database, data set and disk level, with no changes to applications.

z/OS Cloud Broker Enables z/OS Resource Consumption
July 2019 | by Ivan Dovgan, William Keller

To give developers a friendly user experience when developing for IBM Z*, we need to shift away from traditional models of resource consumption and understand how resources are readily consumed in the rest of the development world. With the click of a button, developers can now receive databases, application servers, message queues and seemingly endless other resources. Developers’ ability to manage their own environments is now a staple. Without it, agility and efficiency is lost. This is precisely where IBM z/OS Cloud Broker helps bridge the gap for workloads on z/OS.

IBM zCX Frequently Asked Questions
May 2019 | by Caroline Turner, Kim Betros, Gary Puchkoff

IBM z/OS Container Extensions (zCX) is a new z/OS 2.4 feature that enables clients to deploy Linux on Z applications as Docker containers in a z/OS system to directly support z/OS workloads. This is done without provisioning a separate Linux server, maintains operational control within z/OS and is supported by z/OS Qualities of Service (QoS). This article provides answers to the most commonly asked questions about zCX

Trusted Key Entry Policy Wizards
March 2019 | by Garry Sullivan

Do you have IBM Z host crypto modules and want to manage them using the most secure tool and processes available? Do you find the thought of using Trusted Key Entry (TKE) overwhelming? Well, don’t worry. TKE has a set of wizards for you to use to help uncomplicate things.

Cultivating Talent for IBM Z
January 2019 | by Troy Crutcher

I work on the IBM Z Academic Initiative team and each day I hear similar questions. Are young folks interested in this technology? Are schools teaching the mainframe? How have other companies addressed their retiring workforce? A large percentage of my team is retirement-eligible, can you help? Do these questions sound familiar? If so, you’re in the right place! We helped some amazing clients and students to share their stories with you.

Hot Topics 2018

IBM Z Hardware Management Console YouTube Videos
November 2018 | by Eric Weinmann, Brian Valentine, Christine Smith

IBM Z Hardware Management Console (HMC) customers wanted a quick way to learn about some of the latest HMC features. In response, we created some YouTube videos, which provide task-centered visual instructions to complement the documentation we already provide.

Confidently producing secure PDFs by using Signed Secure PDF Transform for z/OS
October 2018 | by Anthony Mingo, Tariq Choudhry

The IBM Signed Secure PDF Transform feature enables users to sign PDF documents produced by IBM Print Transform from AFP to PDF for Infoprint Server for z/OS. It builds on the base of the AFP to PDF product to produce a digitally signed PDF by applying a digital certificate to the PDF content. It also provides additional security to prevent changes to sensitive transactional documents and to enable tamper detection.

IBM Z Content Solutions
September 2018 | by Jacky Doll, Nicole Rae, William Keller

With hundreds of z/OS and related books in the IBM Knowledge Center along with countless other resources scattered throughout the web, finding information about z/OS offerings can be overwhelming. When you do find information, it can be difficult to know where to start, and what steps to take. The resolution to these challenges? IBM Z content solutions.

Container Pricing for IBM Z Brings Predictability to Cost
July 2018 | by Andrew M. Sica, William Keller

Container Pricing for IBM Z* allows IBM to deliver a revolution in the pricing of qualified solutions on z/OS*: pricing that’s not affected by the cost of unrelated software or whether the solution runs during a peak time. IBM has designed a set of solutions around the framework, each of which targets a key requirement of z/OS clients.

Confidently Secure Your Data with Hyper Protect DBaaS in IBM Cloud on IBM Z
May 2018 | by Pradeep Parameshwaran

In the present cognitive computing world, data is everything. By the year 2020, enterprises will have accumulated 44 ZB (zettabytes) of data. Much of that data includes highly valuable information about an enterprise itself or the individuals associated with the enterprise—for example, the Personally Identifiable Information (PII) of employees or customers. To protect such data, an enterprise must have a secured infrastructure and databases.

What’s New With ICSF HCR77C1
May 2018 | by Bob Petti

Cryptographic Support for z/OS V2R1 - z/OS V2R3, also known as ICSF FMID HCR77C1 or web deliverable number 17, was released in September of 2017 and has many things to brag about. The updates contained in this release vary from usability improvements, such as an ISPF-based browser for CKDS key material, to integrated support for a PCI HSM configured CCA coprocessor.

Be Prepared! Tape Delivery Disappearing!
April 2018 | by Lucy Miller

As stated in the IBM Software Announcement 218-118, dated March 6, 2018, you soon will no longer have the delivery on tape media option for your z/OS product or service orders. As of July 1, 2018, the only supported delivery methods will be Internet and DVD with an effective date of July 16, 2018. Now would be a good time to begin using an alternate delivery method. Internet delivery is the recommended method and is used for nearly 90 percent of z/OS software orders. If you require a physical delivery method, choose DVD.

z/OS V2.3 Migration Book Is Transformed to a z/OSMF Workflow
March 2018 | by Wayne O'Brien, Marna Walle

Looking for the “z/OS* V2.3 Migration” book? Don’t look now, but it’s been transformed into an IBM z/OS Management Facility (z/OSMF) workflow. For the past decade, whenever you upgraded to a new release of z/OS, you turned to the venerable migration book. You’ve come to rely on this critical asset for all the important details.

Terminal Talk: 'The Mainframe Podcast I Didn’t Know That I Needed'
March 2018 | by Jeff Bisti, Frank De Gilio

Think back to your first day working on the mainframe. You were probably completely overwhelmed and wondering why everything had to be so complicated. To make matters worse, the mainframe has developed its own culture, terminology and library of acronyms that seem like they were inherited from a sci-fi novel. It’s confusing and there’s so much to learn. How can someone new to the mainframe platform ever expect to catch up, much less have fun with it? This is where the “Terminal Talk” podcast can help.

Transform z/OS Output to Accessible PDF for the Visually Impaired
February 2018 | by Anthony Mingo, Tariq Choudhry

Learn how to augment information from AFP input and produce accessible PDF output that’s compliant with the ISO 14289-1 PDF/UA standard or WCAG 2.0 AA.

IBM Cloud Provisioning and Management for z/OS Helps Organizations Become Service Providers
January 2018 | by Hiren Shah

z/OS V2.3 delivers enhancements to the z/OS platform’s cloud capabilities that you can use to begin your transformation from an IT cost center to a value-generating service provider, delivering world-class services internally over the intranet or externally over the internet. These enhancements, referred as IBM Cloud Provisioning and Management for z/OS, were also rolled back to z/OS V2.2 (with PTFs UI42847 and UI46543) and z/OS V2.1 (with PTF UI43814).

Hot Topics 2017 articles are currently unavailable. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Previous Hot Topics Newsletters


z/OS Hot Topics Newsletter #30
August 2016 — 63.6 MB
z/OS Hot Topics Newsletter #30
August 2016, Low Resolution — 8.0 MB

Featured topics: Cloud computing, Analytics, z/OSMF.


z/OS Hot Topics Newsletter #29
August 2015

Featured topics: Security.

The printed copy of z/OS Hot Topics, issue 29 has incorrect technical information in "Track down GRS requests with SMF" on page 30. The first two sentences have been revised and the paragraph under the topic for "Enter global resource serialization" has also been revised. The revised article is in the online PDF on this webpage.

Word Search:
To see the solution to the word search on page 25, go to the z/OS Hot Topics page on Facebook. While your there, make sure to "Like" us!


z/OS Hot Topics Newsletter #28
August 2014

Featured topics: Smarter Computing with z/OS V2R1: cloud, analytics, mobile, social, and security.


z/OS Hot Topics Newsletter #27
August 2013

Featured topics: z/OS V2R1, IBM zEnterprise, Flash Express, zAware, z/OSMF.


z/OS Hot Topics Newsletter #26
August 2012

Featured topics:  The fine art of z/OS.


z/OS Hot Topics Newsletter #25
August 2011

Featured topics: z/OS: a smarter operating system for a Smarter Planet.


z/OS Hot Topics Newsletter #24
January 2011

Featured topics: zEnterprise gets you where you are going.


z/OS Hot Topics Newsletter #23
August 2010

Featured topics: Face to Face with business resiliency and problem determination.


z/OS Hot Topics Newsletter #22
March 2010

Featured topics: Nothing gets past z/OS! Security and auditing.


z/OS Hot Topics Newsletter #21
August 2009

Featured topics: Simplification


z/OS Hot Topics Newsletter #20
February 2009

Featured topics: 10th Anniversary Special - Memories of a mainframe


z/OS Hot Topics Newsletter #19
August 2008

Featured topics: On to V1R10 - And a greener data center


z/OS Hot Topics Newsletter #18
February 2008

Featured topics: RAS to the Rescue - Stand-alone dump best practices


z/OS Hot Topics Newsletter #17
August 2007

Featured topics: Meet zIIP and zAAP IBM's specialty processors


z/OS Hot Topics Newsletter #16
February 2007

Featured topics: All things data



z/OS Hot Topics Newsletter #14
February 2006

Featured topic: z/OS: Simply secure

History of the mainframe poster

February 2006 bonus PDF


z/OS Hot Topics Newsletter #13
August 2005

Featured topic: An apple a day . . . keeps the PMRs away! An overview of IBM Health Checker for z/OS


z/OS Hot Topics Newsletter #12
February 2005

Featured topic: Hidden treasures: Making the most of your 64-bit SVC dumps


z/OS Hot Topics Newsletter #11
August 2004

Featured topic: Infrastructure simplification


z/OS Hot Topics Newsletter #10
February 2004

Featured topic: z/OS download for dummies


z/OS Hot Topics Newsletter #9
August 2003

Featured topic: Tools


z/OS Hot Topics Newsletter #8
February 2003

Featured topic: Migrating to z/OS


z/OS Hot Topics Newsletter #7
August 2002

Featured topic: Security




Hot Spotlight Articles

Hot Spotlight

Our Hot Spotlight section features Web articles (not included in the latest issue of the z/OS Hot Topics newsletter) that provide great information on a host of System z topics.

Web Article

Driving home the mainframe memories: Forty-four years of disk-drive development (PDF 103KB) John Eells continues his mainframe retrospective with our third installment about the history of IBM disk drives.

Web Article

Ask Mr. Catalog: Answers to common ICF catalog questions (PDF 99KB)
Another in a set of questions and answers about catalogs from Stephen Branch, Mr. Catalog himself.

Web Article

Mirror, mirror (on the site): Deployment scenarios for TPC-R on z/OS
Learn how to deploy TotalStorage Productivity Center for Replication (TPC-R) in your z/OS enterprise by Nick Clayton.

Web Article

Life begins at 40... Happy birthday, CICS
Celebrate 40 years of CICS with a birthday salute from David Reynolds and Nick Garrod.

Web Article

Latch onto better contention resolution
Learn about how to handle latch contention in z/OS V1R11 with global resource serialization (GRS) from Chris Brooker, Nick Matsakis, and Steven Partlow.

Web Article

Enhance your I/O performance with IBM System z
Read about the latest enhancements to I/O performance including FICON I/O operations and the IBM System Storage DS8000 solid state drive (SSD) technology by Harry Yudenfriend.

Web Article

z-the Difference: Sysplex availability
Read about how the System z sysplex makes all the difference when it comes to availability.

Web Article

Please DO touch that dial: zFS performance tuning
Find out how the zSeries File System provides the best in performance tuning of zFS.