Tuesday, 25 September 2007

Mainframe information

So where do you get information about mainframes from? Well, obviously, there’s IBM, and there’s third-party vendors of hardware and software like CA and BMC and lots of others. But where do you go if you want unbiased information? Well you could join a user group, but you’d have to wait for the next meeting. Or you could search on Google – or another search engine – but you never really know how reliable the information is. Sometimes pages have sat there unchanged since 1998 – and the world of computing has moved on a bit since then!!

One option is to download The Arcati Mainframe Yearbook 2006. It’s a fairly large PDF file (5.8MB – maybe these days not such a giant file) and is available from http://www.arcati.com/yearbook.html. It is also possible to order a printed copy.

The Yearbook describes itself as an independent annual guide for users of IBM mainframe systems, and is 124 pages in size. The Yearbook contains some well-written articles and lists of information. For example there are articles entitled, “Software compliance and the mainframe”, “Consolidation and integration in the zSeries environment”, “Event-driven automation: why real-time matters”, “The mainframe market: zIIP and the ‘baby’ z9”, “Linux and z/OS, side by side on Itanium 2”, “Optimizing DB2: get the distribution straight”, “The next generation of Adabas and Natural”, “Taking advantage of the second-user alternative”, and “The main idea: monitor mainframes too”.

There are also some interesting quotes about mainframes including this one from a user: “The current IT budget is roughly 5 times what it was five years ago, only a small fraction of which is spent on the bread and butter mainframe system doing almost all the work”.

The Yearbook contains the results from a survey of 92 mainframe users, and analyses their profiles, plans, and priorities.

A large part of the Yearbook is taken up with a Vendor directory, a media guide for IBM mainframers, a glossary of terminology, and hardware tables. There’s also a timeline showing hardware and software development.

I’m told that there will be a 2007 version of the Yearbook very early next year. I just thought I’d draw your attention to the Yearbook because it is full of useful and reliable information, you can get hold of it straight away, and it’s available at a price you can afford (ie free!).

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