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Why non-mainframers are starting to fear the mainframe?

For many years, it seems, management and therefore the distributed IT team have, more-or-less, ignored the mainframe. The mainframe has been quietly keeping the corporate in business, running all those transactions, and being reliable, powerful, scalable, and secure. All the exciting stuff has been with distributed. for several mainframers it’s been like watching an adolescent get older and find out , in their own way, all the items that we’ve known for therefore long. You want to remember how excited they got about virtualization about ten years ago, we had VM decades ago.

But more recently, the mainframe seems to possess woken up. Yes, you’ll run Linux in your mainframe and not have many servers everywhere the place. And you almost certainly only need one, or perhaps two people to seem after it and not 20. And, of course, you’ll develop Agile applications with tried-and-tested updates being released quarterly. you’ll run Docker and Blockchain on your mainframe. There are z/OS Container Extensions (zCX), which allow you to run Linux capabilities on z/OS. And when it involves AI (AI) on a mainframe there’s IBM Watson Machine Learning for z/OS (WMLz) and therefore the IBM Db2 AI for z/OS (Db2ZAI). Plus, there’s z/OS Management Facility(z/OSMF), which allows users to manage various aspects of a z/OS system from a browser. It’s intelligent, and helps users more easily manage and administer a mainframe system by simplifying day-to day operations and administration of a z/OS system. It causes you to think that mainframes are exciting places to be.

And that’s why non-mainframers are beginning to fear the mainframe.

Let’s imagine that I’m head of distributed computing at a middle-sized mainframe using company. I even have many people reporting to me and that i feel vital. the top of the mainframe a part of the corporate seems to possess just half a dozen staff. Then he suggests that we run Linux on Z. And he shows the amazing cost savings in terms of staff, electricity, and travel. At one meeting, I could lose a dozen reporters – which affects my status within the organization. I’m not getting to comply with that. More recently, our company are having many meetings about security. It wont to be that we focused on business recovery, but now it’s all about breaches. It’s not my fault if people within the company click on links in e-mails and download viruses and ransomware that brings down the Windows servers while we attempt to recover. And now, the mainframers are asking me about shadow data, audit trails, and security. they only don’t understand what proportion cheaper it’s to develop off the mainframe!

Of course, my example head of distributed is true , for many things, the per seat cost of running an application off the mainframe is cheaper – often significantly cheaper. However, at many sites, off-mainframe development is administered on a test database containing a replica of live data. it’s going to not be kept current, but much of the info is current. And RACF and other security products probably don’t keep track of who does what thereto data. which can cause a knowledge breach. And there could be another copy of the database – the one that’s used for development. Again, this probably isn’t covered by the standard security and audit trails and can contain some information that’s current. then there’s the Business Intelligence team using the Excel and therefore the latest Office 365 BI tools. They don’t consider themselves mainframers, but the chances are that they’re using mainframe data. What audit controls are in place? And sometimes that data could also be duplicated again for the mobile sales team in order that they will leave and visit customers armed with the newest information. What audit trail is there thereon data?

For the business, there’s an enormous decision to form . There’s the up-front cost of shopping for licences – which is typically less expensive for a distributed environment. Against that’s the possible cost of a breach – and that’s reckoned to be $3.92 million on the average (according to a survey by the Ponemon Institute sponsored by IBM). As Clint Eastwood said in Dirty Harry in 1971: “You’ve need to ask yourself a question: ‘do I feel lucky?’ Well, do ya, punk?” Perhaps without that last sentence, that’s the question that a lot of organizations are asking themselves.

You might well argue that it is sensible to use IMS and DB2 cloning tools and anonymize or mask the info then use a knowledge virtualization manager to supply access to the present data in real time. This alongside multi-factor authentication keeps everything secure. But, for the top of distributed systems, it’s like losing status and power because control is being given back to the mainframe.

But, again, the top of distributed systems will want to develop Docker and Blockchain applications during a distributed environment and save on costs. and therefore the bottom line is usually a tough fact to argue against. It’s especially difficult when the distributed boss sees that he could lose staff and prestige thereto sleepy old-fashioned mainframe. He (or she) will certainly dig their heels in and need to expand their team and therefore the skills therein team.

So, what’s to be done if the mainframe’s positive attributes are scary to the distributed team and to managers, who are more conversant in Windows or Linux as their platforms of choice?

The answer is to start out now by advocating for the mainframe and help management to know the facility of the Z platform and start to think about it because the first-choice platform when anything must change. In fact, mainframers got to transcend the Exec and educate the entire organization about the facility of the mainframe and therefore the main subsystems, IMS, CICS, DB2, that are running. It’s important that folks understand that you simply don’t need to speak COBOL, PL/I, or Assembler to try to anything on a mainframe. Not only does it support latest languages, e.g Python, Java, and PERL, but there also are modern GUI systems which will be used, e.g Zowe or Eclipse. It’s not a world of green screens (although it is often if that’s how you wish it). And it can run modern applications, and you’ll use it because the start line for analytics. you would possibly even consider bringing in experts to speak to your organization about the facility of the mainframe and what it can do for them. Plus they might have the advantages of pervasive encryption and data privacy passports.

The mainframe is incredibly powerful, reliable, and secure. It’s no wonder that some people are scared of it.

Source: https://www.planetmainframe.com/2019/12/fear-the-mainframe/

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