Sunday, 14 June 2009

The mainframe - an exciting place to be!

Now I've always been a big mainframe fan (after all, I am an IBM Data Champion!), but just recently there have been so many exciting new announcements that it would be hard even for a Microsoftie not to be a little bit curious what’s going on. In truth, the mainframe world is abuzz with excitement and interest – and it is definitely looking forwards and not backwards.

For example, at the beginning of the month (4th June) IBM announced new System z software to enable companies to reduce IT costs while increasing business flexibility and improving service.

Putting flesh on the bones of this announcement, we find that IBM has announced 12 of the proposed 30 new software technology enhancements for this year for System z.

For application architecture, development, and delivery, the enhancements include: IBM Rational System Architect Version 11.3 and Rational Focal Point for Product and Portfolio Management Version 6.4 to enable better decision-making and impact analysis; IBM Rational Developer for System z Version 7.6, which helps improve developer productivity; and IBM Rational Team Concert for System z Version 2.0 (based on the IBM Jazz technology platform), which enables collaborative development among distributed and mainframe development teams building Java, C/C++, COBOL, PL/I, and EGL applications.

Looking at business intelligence and new database technology, IBM has recently announced or plans to announce the following: InfoSphere Warehouse for System z, which adds core data warehousing and analytics capability to DB2 for z/OS; Cognos 8 BI for Linux on System z Version 8.4, which provides a single view across virtually any data source; a new version of DB2 for z/OS, which will improve performance and lower administration and maintenance requirements; as well as IMS 11, which provides Open Database support.

IBM's recent transaction management announcements include: CICS Transaction Server Version 4.1, which delivers new features to help organizations respond to the demands of increased regulatory scrutiny; and WebSphere Business Events Version 6.2.1 for z/OS, which helps businesses detect, evaluate, and respond to the impact of business events.

Service Management solutions include: Tivoli OMEGAMON, which through multiple releases provides integrated monitoring throughout the enterprise; Tivoli Security Management for z/OS to help simplify security administration and user management; Tivoli Key Lifecycle Management for z/OS, delivering platform independent security for corporate information; and Tivoli Workload Scheduler Version 8.5, which provides new, more intelligent scheduling.

These come on top of CA's recent slew of mainframe-enhancing announcements, some of which I have talked about in previous blogs.

It all makes the future of the mainframe much more interesting.

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