Myth-Information

Don’t Believe the Myth-information about the Mainframe: Part 3

In this series, Janet Sun explores and dispels numerous myths around the mainframe. Continued from Part 1 and Part 2.

What Do You Lose by Moving Off the Mainframe?

Efficiency

Typically, distributed servers support a single application workload.  How many business applications does a typical company run?  Inventory control, order entry, accounts payable, accounts receivable, HR, shipping, business intelligence, research and development (multiple projects).  How many servers would be necessary to support these applications?

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Mainframe Outsourcing Transparency

Outsourced mainframe customers often lack a clear understanding of how well their outsourcer is managing the mainframe capacity and performance relative to what is optimal for the customer. The customer seldom has access to the data needed to really understand their capacity usage and often lack the skills to communicate clearly with the outsourcer on capacity and performance questions. The outsourcer may have limited motivation to help the customer optimize capacity costs. In many cases, the customer doesn’t even have the ability to validate whether the outsourcer is invoicing in a correct manner relative to the contract or in a fair manner relative to industry ‘best practice’. Simple questions like ‘how is the basis for invoicing (e.g. MIPS) calculated?’ can lead to a 10% difference in the invoice.

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mainframer

Confessions of a 25 year old Mainframer (pt. 1)

Hello, My name is Colton Quillicy. I’m 25, and I’m a mainframer.

Yes… I know. A rare breed. I don’t know how I got here… a love of technology I guess? I personally blame my upbringing.

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IBM 3270 Green Screen

What’s next for green screens?

The great thing about green screens is that they are so easy and so quick to use. Basically, a screen appears, you enter some information, press tab, enter some more information, and press enter. It’s quick, it’s simple to use, what’s not to like? And that’s how so many mainframers feel. They’ve been using green screens since they were really green to get their work done accurately and efficiently. ISPF, SDSF, and SMP/E are just so straightforward to use with a 3270 display.

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Mainframe Development Must be the Focus, Not the Brunt, of a Digital Transformation

In a world of extreme and unpredictable change, agility is imperative. That’s why large enterprises have rightfully invested in all kinds of agility-enhancing capabilities—from hybrid cloud to DevOps.

Unfortunately, any improvement not made at the constraint is an illusion. So, at this point, many IT leaders are wasting their precious time and resources on making already-pretty-agile cloud/VMware/Java environments incrementally more agile—instead of focusing on their primary agility constraint: the mainframe.

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z14

Real-Time Reconciliation: z14 and the Holy Grail

In July 2017, IBM unveiled the z14, latest in its family of z-System mainframes. Capable of running over 12 billion encrypted transactions per day, the fastest commercial mainframe in the world opens up new horizons in every field of computer processing. This incredible speed brings the finance industry in particular close to a key goal dating all the way back to the rise of computer-assisted banking as the z14 is the first mainframe capable of real-time reconciliation. The holy grail of banking functions, real-time reconciliation represents an exponential leap forward in encryption, security, and analytics for the worldwide financial market.

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Myth-Information

Don’t Believe the Myth-information about the Mainframe: Part 2

In this series, Janet Sun explores and dispels numerous myths around the mainframe. Continued from Part 1.

Mainframes are Expensive?

Think that mainframes are expensive?  That depends on what you’re looking at.

If you are looking at acquisition hardware costs, certainly a single mainframe costs more than a single server or even several servers.  But, you would certainly need more individual servers to match the compute capability of a mainframe.  Add to that the idea that software and labor costs for servers grows linearly – the more servers you add, the more software licenses and the more system administrators are needed.  And yet, the mainframe delivers higher utilization, lower overheads, and the lowest total cost-per-user of any platform.  When all cost factors are considered fairly, the mainframe is usually the lowest cost alternative.

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3 Important I/O Features Coming with the IBM z14

17 July 2017 marked the IBM announcement of the latest IBM mainframe: the IBM z14.  Congratulations to the IBM Z team on a successful launch of what looks to be yet another in a long and distinguished history of superb enterprise computing platforms.  Similar to the z13 launch in 2015, the z14 features several new, impressive I/O features and functionality that will provide tremendous business and technical value to IBM Z clients.  In the remainder of this blog post, I’ll discuss the highlights of what I view to be the three most important:  RoCE Express2, FICON Express 16S+, and zHyperlink Express.

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Special engines that save cost on the Mainframe!

Do you know that mainframe systems have several kinds of engines (i.e., processors) not just a Central Processor (CP)?  Early mainframes had only one processor – the Central Processing Unit (CPU).  As the mainframe industry evolved over the decades, today’s systems have a Central Processor Complex (CPC) consisting of several different processor types.  Each processor type is used for a specific purpose.  Technically, all processors are the same out of the box, but are configured as specific engine types during installation, or at any time later by IBM.  Unlike CPs, which can be configured to run at lower speeds for software cost reasons, specialty processors usually run at full speed.

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Don’t Believe the Myth-information about the Mainframe: Part 1

When I heard about the HuffPost article highlighting a video debunking the myths that Hollywood has been repeating about the mainframe, I was cautiously optimistic.  Unfortunately, the writer chose to use only one reference book, and focused on the negative points.

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