Experienced drivers know driving conditions aren’t static and they must adjust their speed according to the road, traffic, and weather conditions. You wouldn’t drive your car in a rainstorm or snowstorm the same way you would on a clear, sunny day. Nor would you drive in heavy urban traffic at the same speed as an open highway.
Mainframe performance also changes based on various conditions. That’s why it’s important to pay more attention to ensuring that performance and availability can keep pace with current business demands.
New Mainframe Challenges
Consider some examples of how today’s dynamic business environment has created a new operating roadmap for mainframe performance and availability.
Historically, mainframe performance focused on heavy transaction volumes during peak business intervals. Most people did their banking during business hours. Transactions peaked in the late morning, dipped during lunch, and then peaked again in the afternoon. Such peak business intervals were common for most businesses; a graph of this activity looked like the “double arches” in the McDonald’s logo.
Mobility and globalization changed the picture. Smartphones and tablets offer immediate access to the Web, email, or whatever data the user wants to access for work or leisure. As a result, users increasingly expect non-stop availability.
Consumer expectations have transferred to the mainframe. They don't want to be told their application is down for maintenance or that they can’t perform a certain function in real-time because the mainframe data or application component isn’t available. To the user, it can seem incomprehensible that a social media application on an iPad is instantly accessible, but critical data for a multi-million dollar business transaction can’t be accessed in an IT environment.
Since almost all mainframe activity is on the back-end of mobility and Web-based applications, today’s mainframe, as a participant in the business service being delivered, is required to run non-stop. Performance and availability must keep up.
Availability and Performance Drive Business Value
Business users and customers need access to data for decision-making, transactions and other purposes, and businesses are becoming more demanding about how data is used. They’re constantly looking for new ways to differentiate themselves to stay competitive and data is increasingly part of those efforts. For example, if you go to your favorite online retailer, you may notice recommendations for items to buy based on your previous purchases. Immediate access to data makes such personalized cross-marketing possible.
So, availability and performance aren’t just about serving the user; they’re also about serving the business and helping it make profitable decisions. The business and its customers depend on mainframe data to make those types of intelligent decisions.