Welcome!

Big Data Journal Authors: Scott Bampton, Yeshim Deniz, Carmen Gonzalez, Liz McMillan, Roger Strukhoff

Related Topics: Cloud Expo, Java, SOA & WOA, Linux, Big Data Journal, SDN Journal

Cloud Expo: Article

Mainframe: A Resilient Model for the Modern Cloud

The emerging cloud-based model of computing requires systems that can provide fast response times to huge volumes of requests

Technology is moving at a blistering pace. In today's era of data-centric, complex environments where the lines between business and technology are becoming increasingly blurred, organizations are moving beyond virtualization to cloud computing to meet new challenges and keep up with the pace of change. Critical investments are needed to keep companies competitive, and chief among these technologies is cloud computing. In fact, Gartner expects cloud computing to become the bulk of new IT expenditure by 2016. The bottom line is, if you're not already looking at cloud as an essential investment, you're risking your survival into the next era of computing.

The emerging cloud-based model of computing requires systems that can provide very fast response times to huge volumes of requests. And, mission critical services such as healthcare, finance, transportation, public utilities, and other industries require very high levels of availability, security and other industrial-strength capabilities. Those attributes, qualities and requirements make the mainframe the ideal platform for such mission critical cloud-based workloads.

Cloud computing is a modern extension of a concept first developed nearly 50 years ago with the mainframe. The inherent spirit behind mainframe based computing was to serve users in remote locations at the same time, on a pay-as-you-go basis. The mainframe was introduced as the most robust, scalable system ever built, and with continued innovation the system has maintained its leadership status as one of the platforms of choice to handle today's complex workloads including sophisticated public, private and hybrid cloud computing environments. At its core, the mainframe was designed around three key traits - virtualization, standardization and provisioning. Not coincidentally, these are the foundational requirements for true cloud implementation.

Most enterprises today started their cloud journey with low-risk applications and high agility requirements. This approach allows customers to ease into cloud computing, learn and adjust their management of the cloud, and build the confidence to introduce more demanding applications.  The applications tend to use web technologies and architectures that can be scaled on commodity infrastructures, using load balancing and service cloning. Batch workloads that fit with commodity infrastructures are another popular workload on clouds.

For private, public or hybrid clouds, the mainframe can provide the following key requirements:

  • Scalability - users need to scale quickly and efficiently both up and down with complete confidence and zero loss of availability.
  • Reliability - a cloud computing environment that is always accessible with guaranteed application performance, limited to no downtime with provisions for rapid recovery from failure.
  • Multi-Tenancy - allowing multiple users to access software applications on the same system, concurrently and securely, critical for cloud service providers hosting many organizations in a single cloud infrastructure and for enterprises deploying private clouds to manage growth through acquisitions to host multiple companies in the same infrastructure;
  • Cost Efficiency - consolidating a distributed x86 cloud environment onto one mainframe creates a simplified, more efficient environment with reductions in floor space and power requirements, and higher return on investment over the life of the platform;
  • Security - the mainframe has unmatched system security with ensured isolation and protection of each virtual server environment.

Companies across various industries are gaining these advantages and efficiencies by consolidating cloud environments on a mainframe, such as:

By consolidating cloud on a mainframe private cloud solution that replaced thousands of standalone servers for its daily business activities like policy verification, claims processing, and generating customer quotations, Nationwide Insurance has saved 80% in energy and facility costs. The consolidation saved the company roughly $15 million over three years and will only continue to efficiently keep costs down in the future. Additionally, this solution gives them the capacity, processing speeds and reliability to increase the pace of innovation across its products and channels as it continues to grow.

By leveraging the cloud capabilities offered by the mainframe, Marist College was able to extend its business analytics technology to its academic community including researchers and students, while extracting even more value from its IT investments. By providing its analytics technology via cloud, the college has been able to expose analytics tools to a wide variety of programs, including technical disciplines and also business, liberal arts and communications programs so students learn how to apply it to their fields of study. Marist has also realized significant financial benefits, saving roughly $350,000 by using the cloud to support the college's ERP system.

The mainframe, with its shared platform, integration, and secure design attributes combined with continuous innovation, has enabled organizations to stay ahead of changing market dynamics with a solution that embodies efficiency, economics and agility - a resilient solution for today's cloud environment.

More Stories By Jose Castano

Jose Castano is the Director for the System z Growth Initiatives in IBM’s Systems & Technology Group. He has over 25 years of experience within IBM and has held multiple key positions in System z during this tenure.

Jose has worldwide responsibility to drive new workloads on System z. This includes Cloud, Analytics, Mobile, and Security He sets the business and technical strategy and direction for the System z platform. He drives coordination and collaboration of the System z ecosystem, from marketing, sales, business partners, consultants, and most importantly customers; leading the platform through an evolution that maintains leadership and meets customer and industry requirements.

Jose has a team comprised of workload and industry architects (who focus on business trends, market and industry requirements and develop solutions/offerings). Offering managers (who are responsible for the GTM for the solutions/offerings) and ISV managers (who work with our ecosystem to support new and existing workloads). Together, these teams have responsibility for researching, designing, building and maintaining the new workload strategy and its roadmap for IBM System z, driving the plans for the next 3-5 years.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@BigDataExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that Harbinger Systems will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Harbinger Systems is a global company providing software technology services. Since 1990, Harbinger has developed a strong customer base worldwide. Its customers include software product companies ranging from hi-tech start-ups in Silicon Valley to leading product companies in the US a...
The only place to be June 9-11 is Cloud Expo & @ThingsExpo 2015 East at the Javits Center in New York City. Join us there as delegates from all over the world come to listen to and engage with speakers & sponsors from the leading Cloud Computing, IoT & Big Data companies. Cloud Expo & @ThingsExpo are the leading events covering the booming market of Cloud Computing, IoT & Big Data for the enterprise. Speakers from all over the world will be hand-picked for their ability to explore the economic...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloudian, Inc., the leading provider of hybrid cloud storage solutions, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Cloudian is a Foster City, Calif.-based software company specializing in cloud storage. Cloudian HyperStore® is an S3-compatible cloud object storage platform that enables service providers and enterprises to bui...
SAP is delivering break-through innovation combined with fantastic user experience powered by the market-leading in-memory technology, SAP HANA. In his General Session at 15th Cloud Expo, Thorsten Leiduck, VP ISVs & Digital Commerce, SAP, will discuss how SAP and partners provide cloud and hybrid cloud solutions as well as real-time Big Data offerings that help companies of all sizes and industries run better. SAP launched an application challenge to award the most innovative SAP HANA and SAP ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that O'Reilly Media has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. O'Reilly Media spreads the knowledge of innovators through its books, online services, magazines, and conferences. Since 1978, O'Reilly Media has been a chronicler and catalyst of cutting-edge development, homing in on the technology trends that really matter and spurri...
The Internet of Things (IoT) is going to require a new way of thinking and of developing software for speed, security and innovation. This requires IT leaders to balance business as usual while anticipating for the next market and technology trends. Cloud provides the right IT asset portfolio to help today’s IT leaders manage the old and prepare for the new. Today the cloud conversation is evolving from private and public to hybrid. This session will provide use cases and insights to reinforce t...
Samsung promises to be one of the 800-pound gorillas of the IoT, if its success in recent years with Android devices and other consumer electronics is any guide. Showing its willingness to be a big IoT player, the company recently acquired SmartThings, a recent startup that's developed an open smarthome appliation that currently supports 1,000 devices and 8,000 apps. SmartThings will now work under the auspices of Samsung's Open Innovation Center (OIC). SmartThings Founder and CEO Alex Hawkinson...
What process has your provider undertaken to ensure that the cloud tenant will receive predictable performance and service? What was involved in the planning? Who owns and operates the data center? What technology is being used? How is it being supported? In his session at 14th Cloud Expo, Dave Weisbrot, Cloud Business Manager for QTS, will provide the attendees a look into what it takes to stand up and stand behind a highly available certified cloud IaaS.
I'll be hosting an SAP HANA Cloud webinar at 11am eastern time, Wednesday, October 29. You can sign up now. Featured speakers will be Allan Adler, Managing Partner, Channel Cloud Consulting, and Thorsten Leiduck, VP ISVs & Digital Commerce, SAP. Attendees will learn about • Cloud economics, hybrid cloud strategy, market size and opportunity • Introduction to SAP HANA Cloud Platform and how to: - Build new next-generation applications - Extend on-premise solutions non-disruptively throu...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Gigaom Research has been named "Media Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Ashar Baig, Research Director, Cloud, at Gigaom Research, will also lead a Power Panel on the topic "Choosing the Right Cloud Option." Gigaom Research provides timely, in-depth analysis of emerging technologies for individual and corporate subscribers. Gigaom Research'...
Join both SAP and Channel Cloud Consulting for our webcast and uncover how you can extend your reach to capture a piece of the US$17 billion cloud application services market with SAP. Learn about SAPs market-leading SAP HANA Cloud Platform and an exciting opportunity to join SAPs growing ecosystem of Application Development partners. When: October 29, 11:00am EST Speakers: Allan Adler, Managing Partner, Channel Cloud Consulting Thorsten Leiduck, Vice President ISVs & Digital Commerce, SAP
Application Performance Management (APM) has been bred with all the right elements to give us the insights we need to see the health of our applications. Similar to your most trusted watch dog, it alerts us to anomalies when events occur, providing awareness to the environment that only they can observe. As enterprises embrace the DevOps philosophy, and the coalescence of the Development and Operations continues, I foresee the conditions ripening to foster innovative methods of making applicati...
SYS-CON Events announced today that IBM is holding a Bluemix Developer Playground on November 5, 10:30 am to 5:30 pm at 15th Cloud Expo. 15th Cloud Expo, co-located with @ThingsExpo, Big Data Expo, and DevOps Summit is taking place Nov. 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. The labs, for developers of all levels, will highlight the ease of use of Bluemix, its services and functionality and provide short-term introductory projects that developers can complete betw...
The Industrial Internet revolution is now underway, enabled by connected machines and billions of devices that communicate and collaborate. The massive amounts of Big Data requiring real-time analysis is flooding legacy IT systems and giving way to cloud environments that can handle the unpredictable workloads. Yet many barriers remain until we can fully realize the opportunities and benefits from the convergence of machines and devices with Big Data and the cloud, including interoperability, da...
Software AG helps organizations transform into Digital Enterprises, so they can differentiate from competitors and better engage customers, partners and employees. Using the Software AG Suite, companies can close the gap between business and IT to create digital systems of differentiation that drive front-line agility. We offer four on-ramps to the Digital Enterprise: alignment through collaborative process analysis; transformation through portfolio management; agility through process automation...
How do you know when a technology has become mainstream? A good clue may be when politicians start talking about it on the campaign trail and with mainstream media. David Cameron, the UK prime minister, was the latest, indicating that the world was now on “fast-forward” with the Internet of Things (IoT) ushering in the new industrial revolution. No mention of IoT targeted at the masses would be complete without the clichéd example of the communicating fridge. While it is easy to get caught up in...
In my recent article, “Software Quality Metrics for your Continuous Delivery Pipeline – Part III – Logging,” I wrote about the good parts and the not-so-good parts of logging and concluded that logging usually fails to deliver what it is so often mistakenly used for: as a mechanism for analyzing application failures in production. In response to the heated debates on reddit.com/r/devops and reddit.com/r/programing, I want to demonstrate the wealth of out-of-the-box insights you could obtain from...
The Internet of Things will greatly expand the opportunities for data collection and new business models driven off of that data. In her session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, will discuss how for this to be effective you not only need to have infrastructure and operational models capable of utilizing this new phenomenon, but increasingly service providers will need to convince a skeptical public to participate. Get ready to show them the money! Speaker Bio: ...
This year like last year, XebiaLabs polled Fortune 1000 companies in banking, manufacturing, healthcare, government and IT, interviewing DevOps teams and everyone from QA to C-level suites. More than 1,000 people were asked to share their perspectives on software delivery trends. Last year the survey found that application deployments fail up to 30% of the time and that 75% of managers believe their deployment process deserves a failing grade. This year, the survey revealed little change in at...
Can a postmortem review help foster a curiosity for innovative possibilities to make application performance better? Blue-sky thinkers may not want to deal with the myriad of details on how to manage the events being generated operationally, but could learn something from this exercise. Consider the major system failures in your organization over the last 12 to 18 months. What if you had a system or process in place to capture those failures and mitigate them from a proactive standpoint prevent...