Lost on Z

Help! Lost on Z!

Is it a misconception that mainframe professionals find it hard to get help?  When we talk about non-mainframe technology, there seems to be a myriad of platforms with impressive worldwide community support, actively helping each other on a daily basis.  In other words, what you find there is, if you are struggling to find an answer to a problem, or simply trying to find some better ways do something, then you generally post a question online and seek feedback from the community. Do we mainframe professionals lack such an ecosystem? Is it because of a lack of enthusiasm from experts to chime in on discussions to help out? Is it because of a lack of a solid single social media platform to discuss our challenges? Or is because there are too many platforms, and that we all are stretched too thin on each one, and thereby lack strength in numbers to have meaningful discussion?

Read More

Demystifying Cloud for Mainframe Managers

The IBM 360 mainframe made its debut in April 1964. With the unprecedented ability to perform 229,000 calculations per second, it became the enterprise platform for transaction-heavy, critical applications. With the emergence in the mid-1980s of mid-range systems (such as SUN’s RISC processor) as well as PCs networked with servers, many thought the mainframe would go the way of the dinosaur. However, in the early 1990s IBM introduced the System/390 family with a groundbreaking computing capacity of 1,000 MIPS (million instructions per second). Since then mainframe computing capacity has increased by more than 30% year-over-year.

Read More
Disconnect

The Great Disconnect

Do CICS programmers / JavaScript programmers know what it is they’re working on?  Sure they know how their programs work and how they interface with other modules, and so on, but do they know exactly where in the business they are used, and do they know how important they are to the business?  And do business managers properly relay the critical nature of what they ask for to everyone down the line?

Read More
Betty White

Does McKinsey Hate Betty White?

Betty White rocks.  I mean, she hosted Saturday Night Live—and won an Emmy for it—at the age of 88.  At 93, she is still winning awards for shows like Hot in Cleveland and Off Their Rockers, where she is also executive producer.

McKinsey apparently thinks Betty White is out of line.  At least that’s the way it seems based on their advocacy of “two-speed IT,” wherein the mainframe is allowed to slowly plod along while Agile/DevOps innovation is restricted to newer web platforms.

Read More
Mainframe Batch

Mainframe batch challenges – and solutions

The ancient datacenter game of tug-of-war between the need for more computing power, and the need to more closely control ongoing IT costs is never-ending, and continues, as intensely as ever, in today’s large business datacenters.

And with the mainframe enclosed firmly within its no-holds-barred silo, the game is more dramatic than it has ever been.  With IT folks outside the silo reminding everyone that ongoing mainframe costs are a drag on the new agile development efforts, those IT folks within the silo remind others that the mainframe is responsible for 75% or more of business revenue, and that access from outside the silo is driving up their operational costs.  We’ve all heard these arguments, and to be fair, they’re all true.

Read More

Mainframing in the 2020’s

There are a countless number of articles on the subject of mainframe computing, and whether or not you should stay with it or replace it with a “more modern” technology.  As you can probably well imagine, most vendors that are mainframe-specific will recommend that you stay on the platform because it is cheaper and more reliable than any other platform out there.  This is actually true, most particularly for the large-scale revenue-generating applications that are in use by the Fortune 500 today.  In fact BMC recently released its annual mainframe survey study which indicated that mainframe use is likely to continue in this year and beyond, and even increase somewhat.  I get opportunities to talk with many CFOs and CIOs of the largest companies in the world and I believe that point.  I am actually not hearing a lot of anti-mainframe sentiment; instead I hear more of the common issues facing business today — my business is hard, competition is tough, I need to cut costs and increase market share.

Read More
Modern Mobile Mainframe

The Modern and Mobile Mainframe

Without revealing my age, I got my first mainframe job back when terminal emulators were a new idea. They were rudimentary with only basic features like copy and paste available, but the number of licensed seats we had for those PC-based emulators was limited, so we still performed most of our work at “green screen” terminals. Often called ‘dumb terminals’, these stations had rudimentary functionality, green-tinted screens like you’d find in the movie Alien, and the tendency to beep with every keystroke, making them annoying in more ways than one to use.

Read More
mainframe strikes back

The mainframe strikes back

With the mainframe’s star in the ascendancy yet again, we need to seize the opportunities presented while recognizing the risks, writes Mark Wilson, RSM Partners

I was just sixteen when I started working with mainframes. That was in May 1980, a month that also saw the release of The Empire Strikes Back. In the intervening years, neither big iron nor the Star Wars universe have been very far away. In fact, both the mainframe and Star Wars seem more relevant today than ever. While I can’t help thinking we’ve gone through an Attack of the Clones, as nothing has emerged over the years to properly replace the mainframe – yes, it really is that good – we now risk finding ourselves sitting through The Last Jedi. By that, I mean as an industry we need to tackle the dwindling band of mainframe experts at our disposal. They’re not quite living on a secluded Jedi island, surrounded by Porgs until absorbed into the Force  – but we are running out of people fast. Just like the Star Wars movies, however, I’m one hundred percent sure the story of the mainframe will go on and on and on… and what’s interesting is how we’re going to get there. But first, a quick recap on where we are now.

Read More

Easy access to IBM Z information with IBM Doc Buddy

IBM Doc Buddy enables you to search error messages of IBM Z software products in both the online or offline environment on your mobile device – it can be a perfect replacement for LookAt, a z/OS message tool for which support is no longer available. Doc Buddy is available in both Apple App Store and Google Play.

Read More
blockchain and the mainframe

LinuxONE Emperor II–the Linux Mainframe

The latest in the LinuxOne lineup is the LinuxONE Emperor II, introduced this past summer. It is built on the z14 and it runs a dedicated, optimized version of open Linux. It can do everything you can do with a native (x86) Linux system and more. You can run Docker containers to your heart’s content. Spin up dozens, hundreds, even thousands of Hadoop instances if you want massively scaled out Hadoop analysis. You can run it with Spark for cognitive analytics.

Read More