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

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

RACF Ghost Busted: Easily Finding and Fixing Ghost Profiles
December 2017 | by Jun Ogata, Scott Woolley

Is your RACF database still haunted by ghost profiles? Do you enter the SEARCH command and still find (apparently) generic profiles that you are unable to change? Well the folks that brought you the “RACF Ghost Hunters” Hot Topics article have some great news for you. Your RACF ghosts are now busted!

Crypto Statistics Monitor Watches Resource Usage
November 2017 | by Eysha Powers, Ronald Edick

Security is a principle concern in today’s world, and the secure handling of data is an essential component of security. Cryptographic Support for z/OS V2.1 to z/OS V2.3, provides a means for the secure and reliable handling of data with Crypto Statistics Monitor. It helps security administrators and capacity planners monitor the use of cryptographic resources and shows which resources are being used, how much these resources are being used, and who is using these resources.

Monitor the Cryptographic Protection of Your z/OS Network Traffic
October 2017 | by Chris Meyer, Dave Wierbowski, Michael Gierlach

With the increasing number corporate, industry, and government regulations regarding cryptographic protection of data in flight, as well as discoveries of weaknesses in existing cryptographic protocols and algorithms, it has become very important that z/OS administrators and auditors have a way to assess the quality of the cryptographic network protection being applied to their key z/OS workloads.

Aggregate Content for IBM Z Products With IBM Doc Buddy V2
October 2017 | by Alicia Mao, Emily Siu, Yvonne Ma

With the IBM Doc Buddy mobile app, you can search messages and codes issued from IBM Z products online and offline. You can also locate helpful Mainframe information (including blogs, videos, and IBM Knowledge Center topics) on the Doc Buddy App.

Metering and Capping on z/OS for Apache Spark
September 2017 | by Jessie Yu, Michael Gildein, Elpida Tzortzatos, Tom Rankin

The new Metering and Capping support allows the system capacity planner more granular control over CPU and memory consumption for various workloads and enables the system to host new workloads more easily. You can use this new support to ensure resource-hungry workloads, such as z/OS Platform for Apache Spark (z/OS Spark), coexist nicely alongside other production workloads.

IBM z13 Configuration Best Practices
August 2017 | by Kevin McKenzie

The end of Moore's Law has meant that hardware no longer gets free performance boosts every generation; instead, IBM provides capacity by increasing the number of engines, and by making architectural changes to both the hardware and software to make sure they work well together. Be sure to check out these configuration best practices.

IBM Machine Learning for z/OS Is Supported By Apache Spark
July 2017 | by Francois Puget, Mythili Venkatakrishnan

Businesses must constantly adapt to changing conditions: competitors introduce new offerings, consumer habits evolve, the economic and political environment change, etc. While this isn’t new, the velocity at which business conditions change is accelerating. This pace of change places a new burden on technology solutions developed for a business, creating a unique opportunity for machine learning, which is designed to address the fluid nature of these problems.

z/OS Hot Topics Content Has a New Home on
June 2017 | by Kathy Pfeiffer

We're excited to announce that Hot Topics articles (content formerly contained in the z/OS Hot Topics Newsletter) will now be hosted on the IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe edition, website from the Hot Topics landing page and shared across multiple distribution channels. Going digital allows us to connect with more of you and allows us to get information to you quickly.

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.