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Mainframe Training Programs

Premium Training Service
Mainframe Training Experts Mainframe Computing Virtualization and IBM Systems
IBM Mainframe and Distributed Processing Mainframe Training Programs COBOL, Assembler, and Fast-track - Examples
Content Delivery History of Success Emerging Trends and Technology Updates
Copyright Acknowledgement

IBM Business Model in Transition

Mainframe Training Experts

SYS-ED provides mainframe training programs for Fortune 1000 companies, government municipalities, healthcare providers, and consulting firms.

      Performance Learning Model   Guided Learning Model      

  Classroom Instruction  

Experience - Client Operational Requirements

  Web-based Content Delivery  

    Industry Standard
Subject Matter
  Specialized Training -
Client Specific

  Application Development   Coding Frameworks   Debugging Techniques   Performance  

IBM client organizations are evaluating the costs and best use of capital associated with alternative scalable cloud computing processing to the value provided by having its own in-house mainframe system. IBM is promoting new capabilities and insights which take advantage of its data assets and security to support new market-driven applications for cloud, analytics and mobile.

The SYS-ED training programs have been upgraded and expanded to address the business and operational challenges facing mainframe installations. Applications developed up through the 1980's have to be maintained, updated, or ported to another platform - IBM WebSphere or alternative commercial or open source software. There also can be a requirement to implement DevOps and integrate the mainframe system of record with mobile and web applications. The SYS-ED course search engine encompasses this body of work: requests for proposals, industry standard courses, and specialized training. Additional information on IBM mainframe system software and programming languages is available on SYS-ED software-specific websites.

Mainframe Computing

IBM continues to provide price/performance improvements in its zSeries mainframe hardware systems. The GSF: Guarded Storage Facility enables enterprise scale Java applications to run with fewer and shorter pauses for garbage collection on larger heaps. The SIMD: single instruction multiple data improves decimal operations with legacy programming languages - COBOL, PL/1, and Fortran and analytical processing with Apache Spark for z/OS. IBM Open Data Analytics for z/OS integrates open source analytics software with data access and abstraction services. It combines runtimes and libraries with analysis of z/OS data to reduce data movement and generate insights from current data. SIMD can process a large number of operands through a single instruction. This allows the development of smaller optimized code for faster processing of mathematical models. The co-processor in each core uses fewer CPU cycles for compression and expansion. This can be utilized in new order-preserving compression for IBM Db2 indices.

In IBM z Systems, SMT: Simultaneous Multithreading can process two simultaneous threads in a single core with z/Architecture capability for each thread. SMT only is supported by zIIP: z Integrated Information Processor and IFL: Integrated Facility for Linux specialty engines on the z13. An operating system with SMT can be configured for dispatching work to a thread on a zIIP for eligible workloads in z/OS or an IFL for z/VM on behalf of Linux on z System guest or native Linux on z Systems core in single thread or SMT mode. The use of SMT provides a more efficient use of the processor resources and addresses memory latency. The result is a gain in throughout. 1 Each software operating system / hypervisor has the ability to apply SMT for unique requirements. The z/OS SMT management drives the cores to high thread density to reduce variability and deliver repeatable performance across varying CPU utilization.

z/VM SMT management optimizes throughput by spreading a workload over the available cores until it requires the additional SMT capacity. When a program accesses a memory location not in the cache, the processor then must wait for the data to be fetched from the next cache level or main memory before execution can continue. A cache miss directly influences the performance and capacity of the core to execute instructions. With simultaneous multithreading exploitation, when one thread in the core is waiting for data to be fetched from the next cache levels or from main memory, the second thread in core can utilize the shared resources.

Virtualization and IBM Systems

Virtualization plays an important role in mainframe hardware. By virtualizing the processor, memory, storage, input/output, and networking resources into aggregated pools; applications can access resource pools without regard to specific hardware. This improves utilization of the mainframe and reduces the need for upgrades. Virtualization allows organizations to become more efficient in utilization of their existing infrastructure. Virtualization can be implemented at seven different levels: 1- operating system 2- application server 3- application 4- management 5- network 6- storage 7- service.

To achieve return on investment criteria, organizational enterprise requires virtualization to provide improved management of virtual resources and for its developers to create self-service efficiency to line of business users or end user customers from purchasing cloud services. The value of cloud infrastructure is in automation and delivering a standardized quality service which eliminates manual error prone processes. Cloud orchestration also provides end-to-end governance of the entire cloud service - from creation to reclamation.  Virtualization in conjunction with IT automation and process orchestration facilitates self-service delivery and reduces costs.

The IBM z/VM operating system can support hundreds of Linux images simultaneously. Web-enabled applications can be accessed by the company website or a native application; the advantage is the utilization of other web services such as security and personalization. Web service information also can help administrators troubleshoot mainframe applications.

IBM Mainframe and Distributed Processing

Distributed IBM mainframe systems are used to operate the cost efficient Linux operating system, run Java applications, enable customer-facing web services, and integrate mobile applications. Mobile phones connect to the z/OS operating system for online shopping. IBM mainframe systems dependably address information technology processing: cyber security, blockchain, and artificial intelligence.

The system Z mainframes will have a role in IBM:

  • Optimized real-time analytics.

  • IBM z systems security.

  • Private and hybrid cloud computing for driving new workloads.
  • Enabling mobile enterprises for internal and external APIs.
  • Big Data with DSX: Data Science Experience suite of tools and Big SQL query engine.
  • Applying machine learning and applied learning to mainframe data.

IBM faces intense competition in the cloud market from Amazon, Microsoft, Google, Oracle, Salesforce, and others. As the largest supplier to the corporate data center, IBM has the most to lose when companies move from traditional data center computing to cloud computing alternatives. It is seeking to differentiate hardware, software, and services from lower cost providers. IBM gets most of its sales from private clouds which clients deliver as cloud-style services from their own data centers. The projections are that there will be combinations of mainframe systems and web servers providing cloud platforms. There also are web server and web-enabling technologies which integrate with IBM mainframe systems.

IBM has been investing and developing multiple approaches to cloud computing. Virtualization has been extended to automated cloud service delivery and management.

Mainframe Training Programs

SYS-ED offers entry level and client-specific mainframe training programs. A comprehensive entry level training programs consists of three components: programming skills, programming language, and system software. Training program course modules are selected by the client: duration, subject matter, examples, workshops, and validation assessments. The client typically will incorporate project specifications as a on-the-job training component into the machine workshops which reinforces their in-place standards and strategic utilization of the software.

The standard mainframe training programs are:

Entry Level z/OS Mainframe Operations and System Programming CICS Transaction Server
Assembly Language COBOL Language PL/1 Language
Java Language Db2 for Java Programmers Rational Developer for System z

These training programs fill the void associated with the absence of a mainframe NRV: Nationally Recognized Vendor curriculum. They range in duration from two to ten weeks.  

Prequalifying a Mainframe Assignment

Not everyone is allowed to enroll a SYS-ED mainframe training program. Management initiating the request and the prospective attendee receive a course outline and learning path information. Additional information on subject matter - examples, workshops, and case studies can be requested by e-mail and a telephone consultation scheduled. In addition to pre and post course validation assessment, SYS-ED recommends a mid-program examination, record of completed assignments, and a grade.

Courseware for Teaching

Student handouts provide a structured and sequential presentation of the training program lecture: performance objectives, review questions, examples, workshop objectives, exercises, and index. Training aids provide a convenient reference in coding and debugging programs. Textbooks are extended with examples, diagrams, workshops, and case studies which correspond to client-specific software environments.

Programming Languages IBM Db2 Relational Database IBM MQ Mainframe Utilities and Development Tools UNIX and Linux

Most training progams also have an accompanying courseware as learning center: self-study, advanced topics, and remedial practice.

COBOL and Assembler Training Progam - Examples

COBOL and Assembler languages can be taught in a mainframe environment: standalone or integrated programs.

Student Evaluations
TSO/ISPF, JCL, Programming Skills
and Mainframe Utilities
COBOL Language Assembler Language

Within each component, there is choice regarding the software to be taught, duration, examples, and workshops.

1 - COBOL and Assembler -
Integrated Training Program

2 - COBOL Training Program

3 - Assembler Training Program

Duration: 10 Weeks

Duration: 6 Weeks Duration: 8 Weeks

Programming Skills

Data Processing Fundamentals or z/OS Environment: Introduction TSO/ISPF z/OS JCL
Abend-AID - Compuware Xpediter/ TSO Compuware z/OS Utilities
Mainframe Utilities and Development Tools IBM Tools VSAM for Programmers or
VSAM Structure and Strategies


Structured Programming Techniques Assembler Programming Structured COBOL

Assembler Programming

COBOL Programming COBOL Programming

Assembler Programming - Advanced

COBOL Programming - Advanced Assembler Programming - Advanced COBOL Programming - Advanced

IBM Assembler Macro Coding

COBOL Debugging COBOL Debugging IBM Assembler Toolkit
Enterprise COBOL z/VSE Assembler Language Enterprise COBOL SORT

System Software Component






Web Servers

In conjunction with presenting an instructor-led information technology training program, courseware is organized for future use in a web-based delivery medium. For organizationís with a requirement for their own staff to teach mainframe subject matter, courseware can be licensed.

Fast-track Training - Base Course with Training Program Extensions

Fast-track training programs are comprised of lecture, examples, and exercises which include client project specifications and provide an on-the-job training component. These programs also can augmented with course search engine title/topics:

1 - IBM CICS Transaction Server
and WebSphere MQ
2 - SOA in the Mainframe Environment 3 - Java Enterprise Application Development with IBM WebSphere/Rational Developer
Modules: CICS Transaction Server
Training Program
Course Search Engine:
Web services and cloud computing subject matter
Modules: Rational Developer for System z
Java Training Program

IT professionals with experience in IBM mainframe systems, legacy programming languages, and the Java platform will be well suited to a fast-track program. The duration can be streamlined to ten days.

Content Delivery

A mainframe training program can be web-based or classroom instruction. Client organizations are presented with choices to address operational, scheduling, and assessment validation requirements.

Mainframe Training Programs Content Delivery Selection Mainframe Training Services

Teaching Models

Content Delivery Selection

Web-based Training Services

SYS-ED's distance-learning is 65% lecture. Program enrollment is contingent upon having met the quality of service to the client location: bandwidth, firewall, and set up of machine exercises. 

Delivery Medium
  Instructor-led Training with a Web-based Learning Option  
  Distance-learning E-learning  
  Synchronous Blended Hybrid Delivery Asychronous Delivery  

Alternative web-based and e-learning training is available: self-paced or presentation through the client's authoring system. These services selectively are offered.

History of Success

Mainframe Training - Software Companies and SYS-ED

Few independent training companies have been conducting entry level mainframe training programs longer or doing it better than SYS-ED. Our skillset was developed as part of first generation coding and debugging with procedural languages - Assembler, COBOL, REXX, PL/1, and Fortran - utilized with IBM system software - VSAM, IMS, CICS, Db2 - and third-party system software - Datacom DB, CA - IDMS/R, and ADABAS-Natural.

The SYS-ED staff averages over 30 years experience in the IBM mainframe environment and collective expertise spans the onset of the modern era of data processing. This is a privileged knowledge base from which to conduct mainframe training programs: maintenance programming, SOA: service oriented architecture, platform migration, and web enablement.

Programming Languages Mainframe Utilities IBM Db2 IBM MQ (WebSphere MQ)

IBM and commercal software companies contact SYS-ED to evaluate mainframe courses and benchmark software in a classroom training environment.

REXX - IBM WebSphere MQ - IBM WebSphere MQ - IBM

Db2 - Computer Associates DYL-280-1 Computer Associates DYL-280-2 Computer Associates
IMS - Information Builders IMS - Serena Software z/VSE - Micro Focus

SYS-ED trained a significant number of first generation mainframe DP personnel in the 1980ís. And look forward to the opportunity and challenge of training their successors in the 21st century. Albeit, with a more comprehensive set of delivery options for training in hybrid software environments.

Emerging Trends and Technology Updates

IBM is building a stable of developer services aimed at mobile, web apps, integration, DevOps, and data management. Cloud computing is an avenue of innovation for the IBM client base. IBM is promoting business intelligence software that analyzes data for patterns of customer behavior and market trends. IBM z Systems are being used with hybrid clouds. The assumption is that IBM will continue making available to developers its suites of software as a service-based business applications with composable API-based service. 

Cloud Computing Mobile and Cloud Computing Big Data

IBM Bluemix delivers software as composable services within a platform as a service. Bluemix is built on open source Cloud Foundry. New apps can be started by composing pre-integrated services into applications; the goal is accelerated development cycles. The Bluemix initiative provides software development tools and incentives for attracting outside programmers to make cloud applications for corporations. Instead of a proprietary version of OpenStack, IBM has been envisioning the open-source technology as a cloud standard. The plan is to create an HTTP-like standardization of cloud management. IBM will allow workloads to be used from different OpenStack providers. 

IBM Mobile is a back-end API and suite of web apps tools exclusive to Bluemix. Employing a combination of PaaS with IaaS, IBM Bluemix has been positioned for both mobile cloud services. Mobile cloud services can be coded in Java or PHP. IBM supports the Microsoft .NET ecosystem. Xamarin enables developers to create native cross-platform apps for iOS and Android using C#, and this allows IBMís enterprise client base to use the Xamarin app-building toolset with IBM Mobile. IBM cloud products can be used on the back end with virtual machines or defined microservices architecture.

IBM is adopting HDP: Hortonworks Data Platform as part of a bi-lateral arrangement in which both companies have increased access to enterprise-class capabilities for managing and analyzing Big Data. The Hadoop platform is being used for machine learning and other forms of artificial intelligence. Advanced analytics tools extract business value from Big Data. This move by IBM is consistent with its involvement in the ODPi initiative to create common reference specifications for different Hadoop distributions.

SYS-ED aggregates and researches source IBM content in the public domain: url advertisements, open source software, trial software, and redbooks.  This information can be reviewed by client organizations and the subject matter, examples, and sample programs included in mainframe training programs. Technology updates are used for updating lesson plans and courseware and developing new workshops and case studies.

So when it comes to your mainframe training program requirements, needs, review IBM course outlines, performance objectives, and courseware. And then visit and schedule a consultation with

SYS-ED websites compile, organize, and present industry standard and software specific categorizations of information technology. They provide a framework for assessing knowledge transfer: web-based training, classroom instruction, courseware, learning paths, and training aids.


IBM z/14 Operating System

Making Mainframes Cool, Gary J. Beach, Reported in the Wall Street Journal November 2017.

Urls from IBM Corporation full page advertisements in the Wall Street Journal and New York Times.

Footnote 1:
According to IBM there are some workload situations where single threading will provide superior throughput.

Footnote 2:
SYS-EDís core mainframe, UNIX, and Java curriculum have been submitted to the New York State Department of Education - Bureau of Proprietary School Supervision for review and licensing.

Copyright Acknowledgement:
Bluemix, CICS, Cloudant, Compose, DB2, Db2, IBM Mobile, IBM MQ, IBM SmartCloud Orchestrator, IMS, Open Data Analytics for z/OS, Rational, TSO/ISPF, VSAM, WebSphere, z/VSE, z/VM, and z/OS are registered trademarks of IBM Corporation.