Latest Entries

De-risking Mainframe Migration and Speeding Results

It’s no secret that many mainframe organizations are looking at ways to control costs and increase agility.  Migrating applications off the mainframe to platforms like .NET are gaining momentum.  Why?  The results are compelling -- the ability to save 50% on operational costs with equal or better performance, reliability, service and functionality.  So what about mainframe migration for you and your organization?  For most, the thought of moving off the mainframe never seems quite that simple.  Solutions need to be evaluated, costs and timeframes researched, benefits weighed and risk calculated.  For many, it all comes up sounding too risky.  “Sounds good, but it won’t be that easy in my shop” is a comment often heard, but the continual stream of case studies where companies are obtaining great results is too hard to ignore.  If this sounds like you, you may be wishing you had a way of putting your toe in the water to test whether mainframe migration can be right for you -- a way to truly assess feasibility, risk, and performance before committing to migration or deciding migration can’t work for you…

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Data More Important Than Code

Listening to conversations about moving z/OS workload to some mainframe alternative (MFA) platform, I hear much about the programs and secondarily the data.  Maybe one reason is that I am listening to the conversation between the applications programming staff and management, and vendors who sell programmer’s tool.  These conversations neglect another, often forgotten migration, which is the migration of datacenter operations and application production support, and sometimes systems programming as well.  But IT Operations migration is a topic for another day.  Today’s topic is the data…

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Today’s youth have a mind-boggling array of ways to communicate— social networking, Tweeting and SMSing simultaneously with other less important tasks such as driving. It’s fascinating to watch their abbreviated lingo—BRB (Be Right Back), TTYL (Talk To You Later), and, of course, the ever popular LOLWES (Laughing Out Loud While Eating Sushi). The acronyms make it so much easier to swap info about the critical moments of their lives. And easy is the point of acronyms—or is it?…

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St. Louis, MO-based UniGroup, Inc.’s mainframe deployment is a story about exploiting advanced technology to lower computing costs, overcoming internal politics, and modernizing an older, green- screen computing environment to centralize its mission-critical applications. By staying with its existing mainframe architecture, UniGroup has built a nimble, secure, highly integrated, well- managed information systems environment that provides a distinct competitive advantage over rival companies in the transportation and logistics field…

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The Hidden Risks of Application Modernization

While legacy applications may still get the job done, business continues to push for software upgrades and faster performance. IT teams have long had little or no leverage to resist these demands. Unfortunately, over the past 30 years, this attitude has spawned an archaic mess of siloed legacy applications maintained by separate staffs that many organizations can no longer afford to maintain…

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IT Sense: Critical Convergence in 2010

This has been an interesting year. In the business world in 2009, downsizing and rightsizing produced high “GDP per worker” numbers, suggesting that companies have shed all but the most productive people and are successfully running on much leaner operational models. As a corollary, mainframes have enjoyed a renaissance in companies that have largely deferred plans to abandon Big Iron in favor of presumably less expensive x86 platforms. In the x86 world, virtualization has been seized upon by a growing number of firms to shrink infrastructure, enable more applications to be managed by fewer people, and reduce energy consumption. The next evolution of virtualization, touted to be just around the corner, is “cloud computing,” which, depending on the vendor literature you read, will dramatically reduce IT costs and deliver broader benefits, ranging from solving world hunger to alleviating climate change. This all sounds pretty good, except ..…

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In the early days of computing, everything was easier to secure. The data center was behind a wall of glass and secured behind locked doors opened only by those chosen few with the magic key. Data security was rudimentary compared to today; RACF was in its infancy; and data theft, destruction, and alteration did occur, but always as an inside job. Even in those early years, tools existed to tighten controls on data access, but it was up to systems programmers to use them…

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If you’re a newcomer to the IT industry, you might think virtualization is a relatively new development, but it’s not. At MetLife, virtualization has been around since the ’70s, when the company started using the MVS and VM operating systems on the mainframe. Since then, MetLife has continued to look for ways to leverage the newest technology with the latest developments in virtualization, specifically on the mainframe, to improve performance and capabilities. As part of this commitment, MetLife in recent years sought to prove Linux could run on the mainframe—and do so without special skills and personnel to install or operate—while simultaneously enhancing reliability and decreasing cost…

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