University of Connecticut University of UC Title Fallback Connecticut

FAQs

 

What is the z10 Mainframe computer?

UConn has used a mainframe computer for 30+ years.  The z10 mainframe computer is a large, complex computer housed in the UITS Data Center in MSB on the UConn campus since October 2011.  Before the PC revolution, the mainframe computer was one of the only computing platforms available to the UConn community. At various times the mainframe was used for administrative, academic, research, and personal computing.
The z10 is actually a number of virtual computers in one, running three operating systems – VM, MVS, and Linux. VM allows users to run “virtual machines” of their own. The z10 also houses programming technologies such as COBOL, Easytrieve, FOCUS, SAS, and others. It supports many technical system functions such as FTP and printing services. Looking at the bigger picture, the mainframe computer also includes external storage media such as tapes, and the devices that read and write to these media.
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Why are we decommissioning the mainframe?

Most of the mainframe applications have been migrated off the mainframe to other platforms. Over the past 10 years, the University’s technology investment has moved away from the mainframe. Additionally, given what remains on the mainframe, it is no longer a cost efficient platform to operate in terms of software licensing and staffing.
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I have heard this before. Will it really happen this time?

It is true that the decommissioning of the mainframe has been rumored for some time. In fact, it has been a UITS stated direction since March 2004. Before this could happen, a long succession of significant re-implementation projects were required to replace functionality that the mainframe was hosting. In July 2012, the Financial Records System (FRS) was migrated off the mainframe and replaced by the Kuali Financial System (KFS).  The only major applications that remain on the mainframe are Genesys (Human Resources/Payroll processing) and the ID System (part of our Identity Management Suite). The ID System is being migrated to a different platform by the end of FY14 and planning for a Genesys replacement has begun.
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What is the schedule for decommissioning?

The planned shut-off date for the z10 mainframe is June 30, 2015. This will allow the University to start a fresh fiscal year without any of the associated expenses on the books. During FY14, the ID System and a handful of small applications and services will be re-implemented on other platforms. Additionally, all required historical data from legacy applications will be archived. FY15 will address the replacement of the Genesys supporting platform or system. See the Mainframe Downsizing/Decommission Timeline for more information.
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Will this affect me? If so, how?

If you have been a data steward of a system that is currently operating (or operated) on the mainframe, this will affect you because you will be involved in the re-implementation process. If you are currently consuming any end-user services such as mainframe web pages, data storage, FOCUS reporting, printing services or scanning services this will affect you. Please contact uits.mainframe@uconn.edu right away, so we can work with you to identify alternatives
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How do I know if I have been a mainframe user?

Here are some ways to know if you were a user of the mainframe:
• There was a time when you used a computer terminal (as opposed to a PC).
• You used software such as TCP3270, Comet, or Hummingbird Host Explorer.
• You logged in with a userid that looked like ABC or ABCX or ABCY or ABCJ (where “ABC” may have resembled your initials) or ABCADM (where “ABC” is an abbreviation of your department name, for example PAYADM1 or PURADM1).
• You experienced a purely character-based, command-line user interface with no mouse or drop-down menus.
• You used FOCUS to extract application data for further manipulation or reporting.
If you used the mainframe at one time and you think you might have old data that you want to retrieve, please contact uits.mainframe@uconn.edu right away so we can work with you to transfer the data to a different environment.
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 If I had an account on the mainframe, when would that have been?

The mainframe has been used by members of the UConn community since it went online c.1970.
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What are the Record Retention Requirements?

CT Law requires public agencies, such as UConn, to follow record management policies and procedures set forth by the Office of the Public Records Administrator (OPRA) of the Connecticut State Library. Per §1-200 (5) of the Connecticut General Statutes, a public record is defined as “any recorded data or information relating to the conduct of the public’s business.” Furthermore, the official record copy (or the official system of record for datasets) is the specific copy of a record designated as the legally recognized version. In contrast, duplicates and drafts are usually considered non-official records. Click here for more information and who to contact for help:  http://mainframe.uconn.edu/home/record-retention/.
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What systems does UITS plan to migrate to other platforms?

UITS currently plans to migrate the following systems:

• Genesys (including Student Payroll and the MUD Tables)
• ID System
• Student Exam Scanning/Grading
• Printing Services
• FOCUS Reporting
If you know of another system that is currently running on the mainframe, please contact us right away at uits.mainframe@uconn.edu.
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If I know I have data stored on the mainframe that I want to keep, how can I take possession of it?

Please contact uits.mainframe@uconn.edu so we can help you determine the best solution for your data.
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Will it cost me anything to retrieve my old data?

Cost will be based on the services required.

How can I be sure no one else gets my data?

Every data file or digital object on VM or MVS is associated with a mainframe userid and possibly an application userid. It will be necessary for you to establish that you currently have, or at one time had access to that userid. Each userid is associated with a NetID and with an academic or administrative department. Authorized individuals within the department will be contacted to verify the validity of a claim on data and to authorize the receipt of that data.
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What if I am not sure if I have data on the mainframe?

If you were never a user of the mainframe, it’s a pretty safe bet that you don’t have any data stored on it. If you were a user of the mainframe, and you know what userid you used, we can provide a list of files associated with that userid for you to review. If you believe you were a user of the mainframe, but you don’t remember your userid, contact the UITS Help Desk 860-486-HELP.
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Are there target date(s)?

Yes, all non-Genesys services must be removed from the mainframe by June 30, 2014. Genesys will be replaced or moved to another platform by June 30, 2015.
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What happens if I do nothing?

Unless you give us an explicit directive to erase, expunge, or otherwise destroy your data, everything will remain in place until we turn off the mainframe. Shortly afterwards the z10 disk drives will be physically destroyed to prevent unauthorized access to the data. If you discover you have a need for data that was stored on the mainframe in the weeks, months, or years after we shut it down, the mainframe will have been destroyed and there will be no recourse.

Records and data that are not migrated to a new environment may require prior destruction approval according to state record policies. Therefore, it would help this effort if you notify us of the type of records and data you access through your userid, even if there is no longer an operational need to save them. Please also include the date range. Contact uits.mainframe@uconn.edu with a subject line titled “Record/Data to Discard.”
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Whom do I contact if I have questions and/or want to follow up on anything?

For any questions or issues of any kind, contact uits.mainframe@uconn.edu and we will follow up with you directly.
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