Mainframe Hosting

The N.C. Department of Information Technology hosts and manages a set of IBM z/OS mainframes that run mission-critical and non-mission-critical business applications used by state and local governments and school systems. 

NCDIT's mainframe hosts more than 20,000 distinct users working at 30 agencies across 22 states. These systems have exceptionally fast I/O, which enables your organization to quickly process a high volume of database transactions by a myriad of users simultaneously. They also offer tremendous availability (99.99%), reliability (built-in redundancy), business recovery and security.

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NCDIT Service Desk: 919-754-6000
Support Hours 24/7
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Features

z/OS System Features
  • NCDIT manages the mainframes and everything that runs on them. For backup and recovery services, one mainframe is located at each of NCDIT’s data centers.
  • Most independent service vendor (ISV) software running on the mainframe and CICS, IMS and Db2 transaction applications that agencies build is sharable. This enables your organization to minimize costs.
  • An average of 27 million encrypted transactions is processed daily. 
  • Virtual disk and tape storage provide batch or real-time job streams.
  • IOGen, control units, HMC and thin client consoles are included.
  • Technical support:
    • File transfer: sftp, FTPS and Connect:Direct
    • CSSMTP (mainframe email)
    • Maintenance of the latest supported encryption level
    • Monitoring
      • Alerts sent by email and text
      • Infrastructure internal and external network connections
      • Daily system batch and online processes
      • Microsoft’s Windows-based event monitoring solution, which enables event correlation within your corporate computing environment 
    • Analysis
      • Reviews the network infrastructure to ensure the proper design for disaster recovery and customer needs 
      • Ensures encryption requirements are met
      • Handles z/OS upgrade/migration requirements proactively
      • Manages hardware configurations: HMC, control units and thin client consoles
    • Service level agreements
      • Ensures supported software to n-1 levels
      • Resolves customer incident and service request tickets in a timely manner

For additional features, see the Technical Information section on this page.

Software Features
  • COBOL
    • RESTful Java™ Script Object Notation (JSON) services with traditional XML web services
    • Native UTF-8 enables COBOL applications to efficiently communicate across applications via RESTful APIs and to directly process UTF-8 data
    • AMODE 64 (64-bit) batch applications development, which supports processing large data tables over 2 GB
  • z/OS Db2 12
    • Provides database management using SQL 
    • Extends Db2’s scalability, security, reliability and efficiency, and supports cloud, mobile and analytics applications
    • Processes up to 11.7 million inserts per second and 256 trillion rows per table
Job Scheduling Features
  • Dynamically schedules automated jobs, dispatches events, and monitors every aspect of your job schedule using functions such as:
    • System command scheduling
    • Automatic variable calculation and substitution
    • Step-level condition code validation
    • Workload balancing
    • Schedule forecasting and simulation
    • SAF security, optional SMP/E support
    • Simultaneous support for multiple JCL libraries
    • Electronic vaulting capabilities
    • Prebuilt calendars and other utilities
  • Creates schedules, performs backups and maintains calendars without interrupting service
  • Manages enterprise-wide scheduling
  • Schedules and manages from one location to an infinite number of systems, across operating systems worldwide or just across the room
  • Displays on one screen all the schedule information for every supported platform and highlights all exceptions (e.g., abends, late jobs)
  • Supports concurrent schedules within the same job names (versioning)
  • Provides perpetual calendars that allow you to define dates as far into the future as needed
  • Monitors all aspects of job schedules continuously, and responds to messages automatically
  • Uses the IBM system management facility to check the step-level condition code, and allows job cancellation based on condition codes
Performance Features

NCDIT’s Capacity Management team ensures that resource and workload capacity is performing sufficiently to meet your current and future needs. This includes data management and manipulation, storage capacity planning, performance management, availability management, revenue analysis and reporting.

Capacity management processes are divided into two services:

  • Workload capacity management, which monitors and controls the performance of the customer’s IT services by examining relevant data
  • Resource capacity management for monitoring the performance of components within the IT infrastructure

For additional features, see the Technical Information section on this page.

Transaction Services (CICS, IMS & MQSeries) Features

NCDIT’s Transaction Services team manages customer configuration, troubleshooting and support, system installation and maintenance. The team ensures that the applications running on the z/OS platform are available for all state agencies. This includes tracking and accessing z/OS online applications written and supported by various North Carolina state agencies.

Online processing time for Customer Information Control System (CICS) and Information Management System (IMS) is available by the minute and online through web and Middleware Services running under z/OS. 

For additional features, see the Technical Information section on this page.

Mainframe Disaster Recovery Features
  • The Hitachi Universal Replicator mirrors data to NCDIT’s disaster recovery center to minimize mainframe recovery time.
  • Mainframe data is mirrored asynchronously in 5 minutes or less, 24/7.
  • Data is encrypted to secure its transmission between data centers.

Benefits

z/OS System Benefits
  • Mainframe computing reduces the requirements and costs of additional hardware and software duplication. 
  • NCDIT’s zServer resources are reallocated automatically to respond rapidly to changes in business demands.
  • Mainframe costs continue to decrease year over year.
  • Requirements for application support staff are reduced. This increases IT operations efficiency by redirecting staff to value-added activities.
  • Exceptional support services are provided by a team of highly experienced mainframe experts.
  • System reliability includes 99.99% application availability and ensures business operational continuity through powerful disaster recovery capabilities built into every element of the zServer.
  • Security compliance is ensured by encrypting and protecting your critical data when at rest and in flight from internal and external threats. This significantly reduces the risks and financial losses due to data breaches.
  • Integrated machine learning enables users to glean deeper insights into their valuable data.
  • Leveraging existing code for new service creation provides greater efficiency and economic value.
  • A single source with rules and scripting consolidates events and automates systems.
  • Management of critical events that require human decision making and intervention is simplified by the alert management interface, which escalates these events using policy-based notifications.
Software Benefits
  • Reduce operating costs and CPU utilization by utilizing the COBOL compiler's leading-edge optimization technology and ability to exploit the latest mainframe hardware and middleware. 
  • Leverage new usability features in COBOL to simplify programming techniques and problem determination, improve productivity and support tools supplied by IBM and other ISVs. 
  • Modernize applications by extending COBOL features to support web, cloud and mobile infrastructures while reducing cost, risk and cycle time.
  • Ensure enterprise database systems are prepared for today's and tomorrow's database challenges with Db2 12’s big data management capabilities.
Job Scheduling Benefits
  • Optimizes your workload by checking condition codes automatically at every step and reacting in real time with logical and physical resource control.
  • Schedules and submits events at machine speed.
  • Reduces human error by operating with minimal user intervention.
  • Improves system efficiency and throughput by checking physical and logical resources before job dispatching.

Request Process

To request this service, or for more information, submit a ticket using the NCDIT Service Portal.

Authorization

  • Service requests that incur a cost to the agency will typically require approval from the requesting agency’s CIO, financial officer or manager, depending upon your agency's requirements. 
  • Any staff with access to the NCDIT Service Portal may engage the team for support or information.

Requirements & Customer Responsibility

Required NCDIT Services Dependent on customer needs
Other Technical Requirements & Prerequisites Customers need to possess a technical understanding of their application architecture.
Customer Responsibility
  • Agency staff are required to submit a ticket using the NCDIT Service Portal for additional support or information regarding this service. 
  • The staff and agency receiving services are also responsible for determining and defining software requirements and to fully understand their existing software functionality.

Expected Delivery

Acknowledgment Time The service team should acknowledge a service request within about 2-3 business days.
Turnaround Time
  • The service team should be able to complete a well-defined service request within about 4 to 8 weeks or longer, depending on the customer’s needs.
  • Procurement and licensing steps required before the delivery of services may extend the timeline.

Customers

Suggested For Any state or local government agency as well as educational institutions
Required For None
Spotlight Customers
  • N.C. Department of Health and Human Services 
  • N.C. Department of Transportation 
  • N.C. Department of Public Safety 
  • N.C. Division of Employment Security
  • N.C. Office of the State Controller

Support Process
  • Submit a ticket using the NCDIT Service Portal or contact the NCDIT Service Desk at 919-754-6000.
  • NCDIT Mainframe Hosting Services provides:
    • Ongoing project management and communication
    • Project plan management, helping mitigate risks and provide escalation when required
    • Purchase order requisition management and coordination with hardware and software vendors for equipment delivery 
    • Training
Service Support Hours

Support for the service is available 24/7 for production and non-production environments.

Service Availability The service is available 24/7, excluding planned outages and maintenance windows.
Standard Maintenance Windows
  • Sundays: 4 a.m. to noon
  • In addition to standard maintenance windows, site-specific changes may be coordinated with customers at non-standard times.
Service Communications
  • Changes or outages that might have an impact on customers are communicated through the NCDIT Communications Hub and Agency Change Approval Board. 
  • The agency's admin for this service will support communications to the agency users of the service..
Service Level Agreements Mainframe Hosting Service Level Agreement

  • Approved rates for this service are published in the NCDIT Rate Schedule.
  • Additional costs could include software that the customer needs that is not currently offered by NCDIT.

 
View NCDIT Rate Schedule

Additional z/OS System Features

  • Automation:
    • OPS/MVS Automation and Zeke Scheduler
    • Schedule batch jobs in Zeke
    • Batch job restart and recovery by ASG-Zebb 
    • System alert notification via AutomationPoint and SOI
    • CA SYSVIEW® Performance Management
  • System security:
    • Multi-factor authentication: configured for use by TSO/ISPF, Db2, IMS and CICS
    • IBM RACF Resource Access Control Facility
    • Encryption: maintain strong, current cyphers, state encryption standards and yearly certificate renewals
  • Printer support:
    • Output routed from the JES2/JES3 spool to the most appropriate printer or destination
    • No need for IPLs, JES definitions or JCL changes to add printers
    • End-to-end printing processes over any network using AFP®, PCL®, PDF, IPDS, LCDS and XES® data streams 

Additional Performance Features

Workload capacity management and resource capacity management include:

  • Demand management – Prevent customer and infrastructure components from becoming overloaded by transferring resource demand.
  • Monitoring – Measure and ensure that customer and infrastructure components are achieving acceptable service. Examples of monitored resources are CPU utilization, DASD utilization, response times and storage utilization.
  • Analysis – Forecast future needs by studying workload and resource capacity components. This component analysis may initiate efficiency improvements and the acquisition of additional IT resources.
  • Tuning – Optimize system workloads and resources to improve the customer’s performance and costs. 
  • Data modeling and reporting – Provide and secure data models used to develop BI reports and visualizations.

Additional Transaction Services (CICS, IMS & MQSeries) Features

  • 117 CICS customer regions
  • 75-plus IMS control and dependent regions
  • CICS and IMS, defined below, are the predominant online transaction managers used by NCDIT for z/OS. CICS is a general-purpose mainframe-based data communication system that supports a network of thousands of terminals. CICS provides an environment for the execution of online application programs, including interfaces to files and database products, such as VSAM, Db2 and IMS. CICS can also be accessed by MQSeries via MQClient, MQServers and CICS Transaction Gateway.
  • IMS is a database/data communication system that allows NCDIT customers to access IMS-defined databases and Db2 databases through attached communication terminals. IMS controls the terminals and allows the customer to communicate with IMS databases utilizing high-level programming languages. IMS can also be accessed by MQSeries via MQClient or MQServers.
  • 24/7 support for transaction services systems
  • CICS, IMS, Middleware MQSeries File Transfer Edition (MQ/FTE), MQSeries, Host on Demand (Web based 3270 emulation), CA products and utilities, multiple OEM products and others
  • WMQ and MQ/FTE subsystems (MQ supports 18 subsystems, including nine managed file transfers.)

Training & Help 

None

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