Some people may say that the mainframe is just as antiquated as old King Tut, but we know better. The mainframe continues to evolve to meet ever-changing demands. King Tut probably never imagined a digital age, but the digital age has helped us to imagine what life was like for King Tut.
Guest post by John Barnard, CTO, Mainframe Service Management
The mainframe has changed – a lot – since the 1970s. It has evolved from machines with one or two CPUs with minimal storage and fixed partitions to scores of central processors, huge DASD farms, and multiple virtual systems running simultaneously. Tasks that were once manual are now automated. Data that was once entered on punch cards can come from smart phones.
During the disco years, we submitted jobs and hoped for the best. A green light indicated that a job completed successfully, and a system dump indicated that it did not. Monitoring was done after the fact. Now we can view transactions as they flow across environment, enabling us to be more proactive and to prevent problems.
A colleague of mine pointed me to this paper written by the head of Enterprise hosting at the Canada Department of National Defence. Here is an organization which went from “the mainframe is being pushed out” three years ago, to acquiring four new mainframes in the past 18 months. It’s a great insight into how mainframe management is evolving to support the changing requirements of the businesses they serve. Just like other areas of IT, ‘mainframers’ need to adapt to new ways of doing business and changing customer demands. I’m sure many of you can relate to the experience recounted in this paper about the IT department previously being divided into silos of different IT functions. They were able to tear down these silo walls by establishing the mainframe as the desired hosting platform of choice based on its stability. By focusing on the unique benefits of the mainframe like processing speed and reliability for large volumes of data, this Government Department has been able to establish theirmainframe infrastructure as the basis for implementing shared services throughout their IT department and achieve a “truly cost-effective, multi-platform enterprise hosting solution”.
The 2012 BMC Annual Mainframe Research Survey launched today! The BMC mainframe survey is the most comprehensive research conducted on the mainframe market and provides key insights into the trends, challenges and evolution of the mainframe industry. Want to participate in the mainframe survey? Contact: Helen_Greenstein@bmc.com Click here to view last year's Mainframe Survey results. http://www.bmc.com/videos/129910918.html