TCC Participates in the 2018 ISC Corporate Challenge

Posted by Stephanie Griffin, TCC Director of Human Resources

At TCC, we know that having a strong company culture is paramount in sustaining the success and stability of the company, especially within the information technology industry. One of our core values – the guiding principles that dictate our behaviors and actions as a company – is supporting our local community.

TCC will again participate in the annual Indiana Sports Corp (ISC) Corporate Challenge sponsored by Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield. Every year, up to 150 companies from Central Indiana vie for titles in the ISC Corporate Challenge, and this year is not different. Preliminary events will be conducted on August 18th and August 23rd, and for the fourth-consecutive year, the main event will be held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Saturday, August 25th.

Activities include distance runs, sprints, a fitness walk, tug-of-war, and field activities (called “Good Sport Events”) such as basketball shootout, football accuracy throw, golf chipping challenge and soccer shootout, to name a few.

For more information on the ISC Corporate Challenge, visit:

https://www.indianasportscorp.org/events/2018-corporate-challenge

To find out more about TCC and our company values, please visit our Culture Book on our website http://www.e-tcc.com/culture.

 

The Tangible Benefits of Mainframe Applications Rehosting

Posted by Rick Fowler, TCC Director of Mainframe Managed Services

We have been hearing for years that mainframes are no longer viable platforms for modern computing, however over 70 percent of all financial transactions are still processed by a mainframe application. Durand, D. (2017, April 11). LzLabs: The art of mainframe application ‘re-hosting’. Retrieved from https://www.computerweekly.com/blog/CW-Developer-Network/The-art-of-mainframe-application-re-hosting. Therefore, the conversation has turned to modernization, rather than elimination of mainframe systems.

In a previous blog post, we examined an article titled “LzLabs: The Art of Mainframe Application ‘Rehosting’” in Computer Weekly magazine https://www.computerweekly.com/blog/CW-Developer-Network/The-art-of-mainframe-application-re-hosting in which the rehosting concept is broken down into straightforward stages.

Now let’s look at the benefits of this approach outlined in the article. The article states “Traditionally, the mainframe applications would have to be re-invented before any migration can take place. In an as-is ‘re-hosting’ migration, the applications can be migrated straight away, with no changes to the application code. In essence, the mainframe has been reinvented, but it is operating on modern and open infrastructure – the benefits of which can be achieved immediately.”

The benefits include:

  • “No issues with internal end-users, or with customers due to issues (discrepancies in results, etc.) as a result of re-writing the application code. The consequence of these issues, associated with traditional migrations, is often a cause of distrust emerging against the new system.”
  • “No need for retraining and no loss of productivity by end-users. They can continue with their daily tasks just as before – nothing has changed in terms of daily interactions with the application.”
  • “It’s an efficient way to validate the migration: iso-functionality makes the testing simple to define and validate. Results are either strictly identical or they are not. The approach doesn’t leave room for subjective interpretation, it’s entirely objective.”
  • “It enables easy automation of testing at large scale.”
  • “It solves the first half of the modernisation problem in a short time-frame. The applications have been migrated onto a modern long-term sustainable platform, based on very standard components, and can be operated by Linux sysadmins which are abundantly common in the job market, thus far-easier to recruit than mainframe sysadmins.”
  • “The cost savings presented by modern IT platforms are achieved instantly, before any longer-term application modernisation begins – a quick and highly positive ROI.”

“After the “re-hosting” takes place, applications can begin their modernisation process, using state-of-the-art technology, to rejuvenate the legacy application into a modern one, with a rich web-based interface, accessible through web services, restructured in containerised microservices, etc. It then becomes ideal for inter-operability.”

Clearly, this approach has merit and will continue to be refined as the many industries in which mainframes operate look for ways to become more agile while reducing risk and operating costs.

To learn more about TCC’s Mainframe Managed Services please visit our website https://e-tcc.com/managed-services.

 

Mainframe Applications Rehosting – Why Do It and How Does It Really Work?

Posted by Rick Fowler, TCC Director of Mainframe Managed Services

We have been hearing for years that mainframes are no longer viable platforms for modern computing, however over 70 percent of all financial transactions are still processed by a mainframe application. Durand, D. (2017, April 11). LzLabs: The art of mainframe application ‘re-hosting’. Retrieved from https://www.computerweekly.com/blog/CW-Developer-Network/The-art-of-mainframe-application-re-hosting. Therefore, the conversation has turned to modernization, rather than elimination of mainframe systems.

In an article titled “LzLabs: The Art of Mainframe Application ‘Rehosting’” in Computer Weekly magazine https://www.computerweekly.com/blog/CW-Developer-Network/The-art-of-mainframe-application-re-hosting the rehosting concept is broken down into straightforward stages and clear benefits are outlined.

The article states that the latest method of system migration may also be the fastest and most reliable because it occurs with no changes to application code. Changes to code can be risky, because they have not been as thoroughly tested as in the previous system.

The article breaks down re-hosting into three stages:

“1. Packing up all of the application artifacts in their executable form on the source system”

“2. Moving the package to the new platform”

“3. Unpack and run”

“In order to achieve this, the system services running on the mainframe subsystem must be re-written natively for Linux. This includes systems for transactional activity, batch scheduling, indexed datasets and relational and hierarchical data.”

“To paraphrase Carl Sagan; if you wish to faithfully recreate a mainframe environment to run on modern, open platforms, you must first invent the universe.”

“A translator may also be needed in order to transpose the mainframe binaries, based on the assembly language of the mainframe architecture, into Intel x86 Xeon assembly language, so that it can be used on Linux. This process is called “Dynamic Instruction Set Architecture Translation.” These transformed binaries are then able to run in a managed container.”

In a follow-up post, we will look at the tangible benefits of this approach.

To learn more about TCC’s Mainframe Managed Services please visit our website https://e-tcc.com/managed-services.

 

TCC’s NIST 800-171 109 Cybersecurity Compliance Methodology

Posted by Tim Luzadder, TCC Enterprise Infrastructure Director

TCC’s Managed Security Services will lead our customers down the path towards their security and compliance needs.

In 2010, an Executive Order 13556 established a Controlled Unclassified Information Program (CUI) to standardize the way the executive branch handles unclassified information that requires protection. The CUI Program is designed to address several deficiencies in managing and protecting unclassified information in nonfederal information systems and organizations.

TCC developed a process to assist businesses with the leadership and technology services required to comply with this standard by protecting Controlled Unclassified Information. The compliance deadline is December 31, 2017.

TCC’s methodology consists of the following four steps:

Step 1 – GAP

Step 2 – HIGH IMPACT

STEP 3 – REMEDIATION

STEP 4 – ITERATE

GAP: Assessment of the current state of compliance benchmarked against NIST 800-171 109 Security controls, 460 criteria objects over 1,000 security remediation tasks. This step includes:

  • Plan of Action and Milestones
  • System Security Plan
  • Incident Reporting

HIGH IMPACT: A customized itemization analysis at a point in time based on company’s resources available, and REMEDIATION will have the greatest impact in the shortest amount of time.

PRIORITIZE FOR ACTION

Data Set for Prioritization includes:

  • Analysis of available company resources including time and money
  • UpGuard Cybersecurity resilience against benchmark

Criteria for Action:

  • Biggest impact for least investment

REMEDIATION:

  • This step focuses on six areas of concentration to harden company’s cyber security resiliency. Policy & Procedures, Asset inventory & Patch Management, System Security, Data Protection, Multi Factor Authentication and Security Training

ITERATE:

  • Three phases to compliance and continued Cyber resiliency

TCC’s methodology allows companies to leverage their available resources to achieve compliance, saving time and money.

To learn more about TCC’s IT Managed Services please visit our website https://e-tcc.com/managed-services