OS/390 release boosts e-commerce security

OS/390 release boosts e-commerce security

By Patricia Daukantas

GCN Staff

Release 8 of OS/390 Version 2, which runs on IBM's S/390 enterprise servers, will have new security features for electronic commerce applications.

The latest release of the mainframe operating system will automatically manage the exchange of encryption keys over a virtual private network via the Internet Key Exchange cryptographic protocol, said Linda Distel, IBM Corp.'s program director for S/390 security. Release 8 also will centrally manage client and server digital certificates and will support the Lightweight Directory Access Protocol 3.

In Unix environments, people with superuser status can change almost anything they want. OS/390 Release 8's superuser granularity lets the system administrator grant varying levels of superuser access, Distel said.

A feature called Virtual IP Addressing Takeover maintains multiple images of an application. If the application goes down, VIPA transparently switches to another image, and 'the average user won't notice,' IBM S/390 brand manager Chris Holley said.

The upgraded OS/390 adds Secure Sockets Layer client authentication to the TN3270 server emulation function.

An Infoprint Server within OS/390 Release 8 uses the Internet Printing Protocol to consolidate enterprise print workloads from multiple client environments.

Twice yearly

Since 1996, IBM has brought out a new release of OS/390 every six months, said Doug Balog, director of IBM S/390 software.

'We don't expect every customer to get every release,' he said, noting that many sites choose to install alternate upgrades.

The new content of OS/390 Release 8 meshes with IBM's growing focus on electronic business, including the opening of an electronic-transaction design processing center in Poughkeepsie, N.Y.

Release 8 will be ready late next month, Balog said. Federal users with licenses for OS/390 Version 2 will get a free upgrade.

Contact IBM's federal information call center at 800-333-6705.

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