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As someone who has worked in the mainframe world for more than 25 years, there’s one phrase that I could be happy never hearing again: skills gap. It’s no secret that many mainframe engineers are nearing retirement age, but contrary to popular perception, the world isn’t about to end. Far from it. The reality is that organizations that foster the new crop of engineers who can work on IBM z13 servers and other mainframe environments, rather than just bemoan the lack of resumes that cross their desks, are already ahead of the curve. And internships may be the key to filling the positions that will open in the next three to five years…

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Michael Porter, at the Harvard Business Review, recently said that the Internet of Things (IoT) will deliver an economic boom as big as those delivered by computer automation and the internet. That may well happen, but we're going to have to figure out how we're going manage all the new workloads that it will also deliver. So what does that mean? Well, in 2009 there were two billion devices—PCs, smartphones, etc., connected to the Internet; by 2020, there will be more seven billion, according to Gartner. Compare that to the number of "things" connected to the internet—half a billion in 2009, and 26 billion by 2020, also according to Gartner…

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Despite its corporate struggles, IBM Systems, the organization that replaced IBM System and Technology Group (IBM STG) had a pretty good year in 2015. It started the year by launching the z13, which was optimized for the cloud and mobile economy. No surprise there. IBM made no secret that cloud, mobile and analytics were its big priorities. Over the year it also added cognitive computing and software defined storage to its priorities…

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When assessing where to deploy your applications, there are many factors that go into your decision making. Some of them are financial, some are political and, hopefully, some are technical. Middleware that is supported across many platforms has generally evened the playing field for functional requirements. Many middleware products, including web servers, databases and application servers, provide a common set of APIs and functions so that you can host them on your platform of choice…

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Do you remember what the mainframe was like when you started on your mainframe career path? Today IBM blurs distinctions between the mainframe and distributed environments through Linux and Java, as well as cloud and mobile delivery models. Heck, you can run Windows natively on x86 cards in a zBX cabinet managed from a console on the mainframe itself. Maybe it’s not the most efficient way to do it, and expect better ways coming from IBM, but it is doable now…

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The mainframe world lost a true legend last week with the death of Dr. Gene Amdahl. Dr. Amdahl, as chief architect, was a key member of the team of IBMers that worked on the System/360 series of computers. In fact, IBM chairman and CEO, Thomas J. Watson Jr. referred to Dr. Amdahl as the "father of the System 360," the most successful line of mainframe computers in IBM’s history…

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IBM posted another down quarter this past Monday, maybe the thirteenth in a row; it’s easy to lose track. But yet again, IBM z Systems provided a bright spot, a 15 percent increase compared with the year-ago period. Last quarter z Systems also came up a winner. Still, the investment analysts went crazy, the stock tumbled and wild scenarios, inspired by Dell’s acquisition of EMC no doubt, began circulating…

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