Colorful fall insights for reframing the mainframe in the application economy


Usher in the changing of the season with CA’s Virtual Summit in partnership with InformationWeek and gain insight into how to run your business better.

 LittleBlogAuthorGraphic David Hodgson, September 28, 2015

Like clockwork, fall is in the air and this is my favorite time of the year: the crisp, cool air, the changing colors and a sense of acceleration as we head towards the holiday season.

For myself, the fall ushers a fun, frenzied but fulfilling pace at work – so much that has to get done and of course don’t we all love it – making sure we are doing right on our commitments to the business and planning for next year. As I speak to many of my colleagues and customers, I am learning mainframers are in a similar frenzy figuring out questions such as:

  • Will our current capabilities around monitoring and automation be sufficient for new growth and compliance demands of my organization?
  • How do new options around Linux on the mainframe offer us greater flexibility in our hybrid data center plans?

Join CA and InformationWeek on September 30

So, just in time, I am really excited about the upcoming Virtual Summit CA is hosting with InformationWeek“Mainframe Reframed for the Application Economy” on Wednesday, September 30, 2015.

The change of colors is a nice metaphor for our clients’ new mission, internal transformation and conversation around “mainframe reframed.” Should we really be spending our time continuing the debates and defensive stances about the mainframe?

A much more productive conversation is one about the business value and growth the mainframe can help you deliver. That’s why I urge you to take a day to connect and catch up with us.

Here is a quick sneak peek of sessions you shouldn’t miss:

  • Linux & Open Source: Driving New Innovation and Value on your Mainframe: Join a panel of industry experts from IBM, SUSE, Brown Brothers Harriman and CA as they discuss the new Linux and open source options, and what the new Open Mainframe Project consortiummeans to you.
  • Reframing the Mainframe to Thrive in the Application Economy: Join Gary Barnett of Ovum and myself, as we cover a variety of issues that combine ideas to improve overall enterprise performance, including advancements in DevOps, mobility, data management, network performance, data security and mainframe performance.
  • De-Siloing End-to-End Ops in an Increasingly Trans-Platform World: Join a panel of experts to learn how IT organizations are unifying ops across platforms to keep their multi-platform front-ends, mainframe back-ends and hybrid clouds all working together in harmony.
  • Apps and Ops: Keys to a Superior Customer Experience: To deliver great customer experiences, IT has to develop awesome apps and ensure the availability and performance of those apps with equally awesome ops. Get actionable insight into addressing some of your DevOps challenges as we explore the apps and ops approach to reframing your mainframe.

Last but not the least – you asked and we listened. We are committed to you – our user community – and making sure you are successful as you reframe the mainframe in your organization.

The Virtual summit is designed to help you catch up on the latest updates to key solutions that help you run your business. In addition to keynotes, the virtual summit hosts 15 booths for live-updates, demos, videos, on-demand tech-talks with product experts spanning application development, testing, automation, infrastructure, operations, performance, storage and security.

The summit environment will be live for 12 months so you can come back for quick refreshers or find what you need.

Grab some coffee, tea or apple cider and join us on September 30, 2015. It will be informative and fun.

How to run the mainframe of the future


Customer demands are putting new pressures on all areas of IT, including the mainframe. Linux on the mainframe is nothing new but it could just be the key to teaching an old dog new tricks.

LittleBlogAuthorGraphic  David Hodgson, September 17, 2015

I’m sure at some point you’ve walked into a store or a restaurant and seen a sign that says, “The customer is always right.” If you think about it for a minute, how many times has the establishment you’re dealing with proven this wrong? Probably more often than you’d like. And how did you vote? With your feet (and word of mouth) most likely.

Well, in the application economy, things have just got a lot more interesting. The customer is not only always right they also have the power to determine how a company is going wrong. We’re living in an era where the customer is more pivotal to the success of a business than ever before.

In my last blog post, I talked about the curse and blessing of connectedness for the mainframe in the application economy. It’s this same connectedness that is empowering customers like never before.

In a white paper that I recently authored, “Mainframe Reframed for the Application Economy,” I discussed the challenges of customers driving change in the application economy. Because customers are more likely to interact with a business through their app than a person, they can’t afford (literally) to get it wrong. One estimate suggests that a quarter of users will abandon an app within a three second delay.

In order to meet this new level of customer demand, businesses have had to provide new levels of transparency, availability and reliability like never before. With this transformation, comes new pressures on all areas of IT, including the mainframe platform, apps and back-end systems it hosts.

The open mainframe of the future

That’s why it’s incumbent on mainframers to create flexibility for the mainframe platform of the future. The interplay between cloud and the mainframe has presented new opportunities for the mainframe, including Linux on z Systems. Linux on the mainframe – tell me something new you say – I know.

Making the mainframe more accessible than ever before

The Open Mainframe Project, a collaborative effort coordinated by the Linux Foundation, which CA is a founding Platinum sponsor of, to grow Linux on the mainframe, will open up driving the direction to a broader community.

In addition, the launch of IBM LinuxONE – a portfolio of hardware, software and services solutions for the enterprise – will make the Linux platform on the mainframe more accessible.

Addressing the barriers to adoption

In the past, three main barriers to adoption of Linux on the mainframe were:

  • Use of proprietary IBM hypervisor (z/VM) for virtualization
  • Lack of support for open source components

The announcement of LinuxONE addresses all three of these barriers by allowing IT to deploy Linux on KVM, use the more common open source components, and most importantly for any business decision maker, to avoid the high initial cost of a mainframe by adding usage based pricing.

The bigger picture

CA, along with leading industry counterparts and academic institutions are platinum founding members of the Open Mainframe Project. The aim is to use Linux’s strengths in Big Data, mobile processing, cloud computing and virtualization to advance mainframe Linux tools and technologies and increase enterprise innovation.

The focus areas of the project address some of the key challenges organizations are facing when it comes to the sheer volume of transactions and data they’re dealing with in their data centers. These include scalability, reliability, performance and security.

So unless you want to be cursed with negative customer feedback, start to discover the blessings hidden in these new opportunities for the mainframe to meet and exceed customer demand.

The sign stating the obvious about the customer being right may not be hung up in a virtual sense, but it should always be in the back of companies’ minds as they increasingly have less and less physical interaction with their customers.

Join us at CA World 2015

If you want to learn more about new innovations on the mainframe and how to create great customer experiences join us at CA World 2015, November 16-20, 2015 in Las Vegas where we’ll be hosting a panel discussion on the Open Mainframe initiative and much more. Click here for the CA World Mainframe Session Guide.