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          Blog

          IBM Mainframe is (still) here to stay and YouTubers love it as well

          06.07.2022

          When I started in IT (more than 15 years ago), Mainframe was, by many, already considered to be legacy, old, expensive, something to move away from and never come back. An exotic beast in your data center, hard to maintain and integrate with new business and workload.  

          Do not get me wrong, there are many cases where mainframe does not fit very well and probably is not the best way to go. On the other hand, without any doubt, there are workloads and use cases where IBM Mainframe is the leading and best fit technology by far. 2022 is an exciting year as the new machine is unveiled. In this blog, I will summarize what CROZ has been doing in this space recently.   

          Welcoming z16

          Back in April, IBM unveiled IBM® z16™, the next-generation mainframe system with an integrated on-chip AI accelerator – delivering latency-optimized inferencing. This innovation is designed to enable clients to analyse real-time transactions at scale for mission-critical workloads such as credit card, healthcare and financial transactions. IBM z16 is also the industry’s first quantum-safe system specifically designed for protection against near-future threats that might be used to crack today’s encryption technologies. IBM mainframe systems have formed the technology backbone of the global economy for decades, while today’s modern IBM mainframe is central to hybrid cloud environments. 

          If this fact list is too boring, make sure to check this great video made by (apparently) very popular tech YouTuber Linus Sebastian. It is really cool, so is the new mainframe!

           

          Get Together in Zagreb

          Recently we held an event at CROZ where we presented the 16th generation of the IBM mainframe system. It was great to finally meet face to face with some old friends – Marcello Fiocchi and Adam Sturges-Beer. Mladen Luketin (IBM Croatia), Mladen Jovanovski (IBM Hybrid Cloud SEE & Central) and Michal Sierakowski (IBM) talked about the advantages of the z16 and revealed details on advanced and innovative AI algorithms of the new Db2 v13 version and the LinuxONE system. Our Igor Sokač (IT Services Management Consultant) spoke about how the new IBM z16 mainframe server fits into modern AI trends and how AIOPS can help improve mainframe-oriented IT management.

          London, Global Systems Integrators event

          I had the opportunity to participate on the z16 announcement event for global system integrators in London. The event took place in the new IBM Innovation Studio at the perfect location with a stunning view. 

          The event was a perfect mixture of networking and getting insight into some new and cool features around the mainframe. Here are a couple of key takeouts:

           

          • IBM Mainframe is (again) here to stay and there is no better platform to run high-volume transactions in a performant, reliable and secure way 
          • Full migrations off the mainframe are not the way to go – Hybrid Cloud solutions with the mainframe in the picture might make sense in some cases 
          • With z16 – the AI accelerator is built on silicon – a one-of-a-kind solution capable of real-time fraud detection using AI (approximately 3,5M transactions per second can be processed and scored) 
          • When it comes to tools/methodologies in DevOps space, Mainframe is transforming from an exotic beast to just another runtime platform 

          It’s all about migrations

          In the last couple of years, there is an ongoing trend of Clients moving away from non-IBM mainframe-related tools. As CROZ has the perfect mix of skills and experience, we are often asked to help both in consulting and actual migrations. We already did a couple of successful migrations from various BMC or CA/Broadcom tools. To find out more about some of them check this project – the migration to IBM Z Service Management Suite we did for a customer in the Middle East. As a true Global SI, CROZ is involved in migration projects worldwide – the Asia Pacific for example, but also in Germany which is one of many early successes of our new CROZ DACH office in Munich. 

          Mainframe connecting people

          graytitutedThere’s nothing like connecting with new friends at first sight. Not long ago, we partnered with Graytitude, a technology consulting firm that’s rocking it at DevOps and mainframe. We met through an old friend Paul Pilotto, Managing Partner, IBM Z Systems Solution and DevOps Implementation Architect. During our recent chit-chat with Rajeev Jaswal, John Meehan and Paul from Graytitude, we discovered we have much in common. Therefore, we are looking forward to working together in the future, focusing on innovation, agility and optimization.

          AIOPS for mainframe

          Breaking news – our very own AIOPS platform will be tested this summer on the mainframe platform! Last December, we announced the CROZ AI company and AIOPS platform that uses advanced machine learning techniques to enable early anomaly detection, root cause and predictive analysis. The goal is to make your data unleash the full potential of your business, as we did in a pilot project for the Croatian Telecom Group. And now it’s time for the next step. Our team is preparing a proof-of-technology and we will use our platform to analyse mainframe logs. Stay tuned! 

          Young mainframers

          It’s common knowledge that most mainframers are grey-haired, but we are going in the opposite direction; we have two graduate students joining our mainframe team.  

          Luka Kaučić is a third-year undergraduate student of computer science at FERIT University in Osijek. In addition to studying, Luka is also an active volunteer for the Student Union of the Faculty and the student association IAESTE Croatia, of which he is the current president. After two months of practice and 6 months of work as a junior Quality insurance engineer, he joins the CROZ team as a Mainframe engineer – trainee. When he’s not studying, working or drinking coffee, traveling and learning languages, going to pub quizzes and watching old Hollywood classics. 

           

          Filip Đuričković is a young addition to the mainframe department who immensely appreciates the tradition, and history and loves all the specifics and uniqueness of this platform and that is why he came to the mainframe department. In addition to working as a mainframe specialist at CROZ, Filip is also a 5th-year student of Computer Science in Osijek and is active in numerous student associations and other professional projects. When not studying or working, he is involved in do-it-yourself (DIY) projects. 

           

          Photo by Sigmund on Unsplash.

          DevOps on Mainframe: The Dinosaur is not Dying but Evolving

           

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          Mainframe kept and improved all the features like performance, stability, reliability and security, that have placed it at the very top of the tech world.

          Read the article

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