Two years ago, mainframes were literally and figuratively being pushed out of Canada’s Department of National Defence (DND) in favor of distributed systems running various operating systems. Then the zEnterprise arrived. The DND mainframe team saw in the z196 and zBX a way to consolidate and centrally manage these myriad platforms as the core of a multi-platform, mainframe-based enterprise hosting strategy…

Read Full Article →

Guest Author: Steve Guendert

“Programming” (and programming support) was an old data processing concept that originally was broadly defined as the adaptation of general-purpose devices to specific tasks.  Programming therefore goes back to Herman Hollerith wiring and rewiring (programming) his equipment to handle specific jobs.  By the early 1930s IBM was distributing information about novel (for the time) plugboard wiring diagrams to customers via a publication called Pointers.  Some of these diagrams were created by IBMers, but more importantly, many were created by customers who were willing to share their solutions with other customers.  A culture of programming support and sharing was well in place among IBM and its customers long before the S/360.  Actually, it was in place long before the first IBM 701 (the Defense Calculator) computer was installed.  Adapting this culture to meet the evolving requirements of its customers proved crucial to IBM’s success…

Read Full Article →

Mainframer dreams come true!

In an announcement dated April 12, 2011, IBM has announcing zEnterprise support for Microsoft Windows. Below is the actual announcement from IBM.


In Hardware Announcement 110-177, dated July 22, 2010, “IBM® zEnterprise BladeCenter® Extension (zBX),” IBM introduced a new dimension in computing with the announcement of the IBM zEnterprise Server (zEnterprise). This first in the industry offering makes it possible to deploy an integrated hardware platform that brings mainframe and distributed technologies together—a system that can start to replace individual islands of computing and can work to reduce complexity, lower costs, improve security, and bring applications closer to the data they need.

As part of that announcement we provided a road map for IBM’s hybrid capabilities, the delivery of special-purpose workload optimizers and select general-purpose IBM blades. In 2010 we began to deliver, first with our business analytics solution—IBM Smart Analytics Optimizer—and then general-purpose POWER7™ blades. In February 2011 we continued with the announcement of the IBM WebSphere® DataPower® X150 for zEnterprise (DataPower x150z), a multifunctional appliance for the System z® environment that can be implemented to help provide XML hardware acceleration, and to streamline and secure valuable service-oriented architecture (SOA) applications.

The next step in the road map is to incorporate select IBM System x® technologies, originally targeted for the first half of 2011. The reaction to delivering IBM System x capabilities has been very positive, with our clients also asking that we support Microsoft® Windows®. Therefore, today we are revising our road map to include planned support for Windows on System x as well as revised schedule for IBM System x blade delivery on the IBM zEnterprise.

Statement of General Direction

In the third quarter of 2011, IBM intends to offer select IBM System x blades running Linux® on System x in the IBM zEnterprise BladeCenter Extension Model 002.

In the fourth quarter of 2011, IBM intends to offer select IBM System x blades running Microsoft Windows in the IBM zEnterprise BladeCenter Extension Model 002.

All statements regarding IBM’s plans, directions, and intent are subject to change or withdrawal without notice. Any reliance on these statements of
general direction is at the relying party’s sole risk and will not create liability or obligation for IBM.

This announcement from IBM has been eagerly anticipated by mainframers for more that two years; and now it’s finally and officially here. What this means for the future of the mainframe is anybody’s guess; but in my view it can only mean substantial mainframe workload growth, and once again the preeminence of the mainframe in the data center going forward…

Read Full Article →

Guest Author: Joe Clabby

From my perspective, IBM has an excellent strategy in Smarter Planet, and its Smarter Computing plan makes very good sense. Smarter Computing plays to the company's strengths (multiple platforms, ownership of the software stack as well as underlying hardware). And the Smarter Computing story is easy to tell: a logical progression for building more efficient computing operations. IBM's System z can and should play a central role in implementing more efficient computing environments…

Read Full Article →

Most mainframers who have ever gone to SHARE or the IBM System Z Expo/System z University in the last several years have no doubt come across one of the mainframe’s greatest cheerleaders, Bob Rogers. While many mainframers are pretty serious-minded folks and not likely to stand out in a crowd, Bob Rogers handles both situations extremely well.

Bob is a brilliant man but also one of the most fun and gregarious people I’ve ever met. So placing him in the Mainframe Hall of Fame was a very easy decision; a decision that has been roundly applauded by his fellow mainframers as evidenced by the “Amens”  in response to the announcement on MainframeZone’s LinkedIn Group.

For those of you not familiar with Bob Rogers’ mainframe accomplishments, here is the very brief description that accompanies his photo in the Mainframe Hall of Fame that is now up on the Website (look under the Resources tab).

Bob Rogers was the lead software designer for the mainframe migration into the 64-bit world. He also played a key role in the transitions to XA-370, ESA/370, and z/Architecture. In addition, he implemented the support for single z/OS images with more than 16 CPUs; and was a lead designer of z/OS support for the zAAP and zIIP specialty processors.

I realize that many other individuals also played very important roles in the development and success of the IBM mainframe. Send me an email ( telling me who else should be considered for inclusion in the Mainframe Hall of Fame.

Read Full Article →

How would you like a full-conference pass to IBM’s upcoming Pulse Conference to be held in Las Vegas this coming February 27-March 2, 2011?

This pass is valued at $1,995.00 USD and is a fantastic deal for one of our lucky readers!

If you win this full-conference pass, you’ll have access to over 40 Smarter Computing sessions, featuring tips and best practices about how businesses all over the world are adopting the principles of integration, automation and transformation to dramatically improve the economics of IT. Among the areas to be covered:

Read Full Article →