Welcome!

Log Management Authors: Dana Gardner, Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, David H Deans, Carmen Gonzalez

Related Topics: Log Management, Microservices Expo

Log Management: Article

Seeking Mainframe Alternatives For Agility and Profit

Technical, economic incentives mount around seeking alternatives to mainframe applications

Many IT architects are discovering that technical and economic incentives are mounting for exploiting alternatives to mainframe computing applications and systems. As enterprises seek to cut their total IT costs, they examine alternatives to hard-to-change and -manage legacy systems. There are a growing number of technical and economic incentives for modernizing and transforming applications -- and the data center infrastructure that support them.

Here with us now to examine alternatives to mainframe computing, is John Pickett, Worldwide Mainframe Modernization Program manager at HP; Les Wilson, America's Mainframe Modernization director at HP, and Paul Evans, worldwide marketing lead on Applications Transformation at HP. The panel is moderated by BriefingsDirect's Dana Gardner, principal analyst at Interarbor Solutions.

Here are some excerpts:

Evans: We have seen organizations doing a lot with their infrastructure, consolidating it, virtualizing it, all the right things. At the same time, a lot of CIOs or IT directors know that the legacy applications environment has been somewhat ignored.

Now, with the pressure on cost, people are saying, "We've got to do something, but what can come out of that and what is coming out of that?" People are looking at this and saying, "We need to accomplish two things. We need a longer term strategy. We need an operational plan that fits into that, supported by our annual budget."

Foremost is this desire to get away from this ridiculous backlog of application changes, to get more agility into the system, and to get these core applications, which are the ones that provide the differentiation and the innovation for organizations, able to communicate with a far more mobile workforce.

What people have to look at is where we're going strategically with our technology and our business alignment. At the same time, how can we have a short-term plan that starts delivering on some of the real benefits that people can get out there?

... These things have got to pay for themselves. An analyst last week, looked me in the face and said, "People want to get off the mainframe. They understand now that the costs associated with it are just not supportable and are not necessary."

One of the sessions you will hear in the virtual conference will be from Geoffrey Moore, where he talks about this whole difference between core applications and context -- context being applications that are there for productivity reasons, not for innovation or differentiation.

Pickett: It's not really just about the overall cost, but it's about agility, and being able to leverage the existing skills as well.

One of the case studies that I will go over is from the National Agricultural Cooperative Federation (NACF). It's a mouthful, but take a look at the number of banks that the NACF has. It has 5,500 branches and regional offices, so essentially it's one of the largest banks in Korea.

One of the items that they were struggling with was how to overcome some of the technology and performance limitations of the platform that they had. Certainly, in the banking environment, high availability and making sure that the applications and the services are running were absolutely key.

At the same time, they also knew that the path to the future was going to be through the IT systems that they had and they were managing. What they ended up doing was modernizing their overall environment, essentially moving their core banking structure from their current mainframe environment to a system running HP-UX. It included the customer and account information. They were able to integrate that with the sales and support piece, so they had more of a 360 degree view of the customer.

We talk about reducing costs. In this particular example, they were able to save $40 million on an annual basis. That's nice, and certainly saving that much money is significant, but, at the same time, they were able to improve their system response time two- to three-fold. So, it was a better response for the users.

But, from a business perspective, they were able to reduce their time to market. For developing a new product or service, that they were able to decrease that time from one month to five days.

Makes you more agile

If you are a bank and now you can produce a service much faster than your competition, that certainly makes it a lot easier and makes you a lot more agile. So, the agility is not just for the data center, it's for the business as well.

To take this story just a little bit further, they saw that in addition to the savings I just mentioned, they were able to triple the capacity of the systems in their environment. So, it's not only running faster and being able to have more capacity so you are set for the future, but you are also able to roll out business services a whole lot quicker than you were previously.

... Another example of what we were just talking about is that, if we shift to Europe, Middle East, and Africa region, there is very large insurance company in Spain. It ended up modernizing 14,000 million instructions per second (MIPS). Even though the applications had been developed over a number of years and decades, they were able to make the transition in a relatively short length of time. In a three- to six-month time frame they were able to move that forward.

With that, they saw a 2x increase in their batch performance. It's recognized as one of the largest batch re-hosts that are out there. It's just not an HP thing. They worked with Oracle on that as well to be able to drive Oracle 11g within the environment.

Wilson: ... I'll be talking in detail about two particular customer case studies during the webinar.

We're seeing a tremendous amount of interest from some of the largest banks in the United States, insurance companies, and benefits management organizations, in particular.

In terms of customer situations, we've always had a very active business working with organizations in manufacturing, retail, and communications. One thing that I've perceived in the last year specifically -- it will come as no surprise to you -- is that financial institutions, and some of the largest ones in the world, are now approaching HP with questions about the commitment they have to their mainframe environments.

We're seeing a tremendous amount of interest from some of the largest banks in the United States, insurance companies, and benefits management organizations, in particular.

Second, maybe benefiting from some of the stimulus funds, a large number of government departments are approaching us as well. We've been very excited by customer interest in financial services and public sector.

The first case study is a project we recently completed at a wood and paper products company by the name of Weyerhaeuser. This is a worldwide concern. In this particular instance we worked with their Americas division on a re-hosting project of applications that are written in the Software AG environment. I hope that many of the listeners will be familiar with the database ADABAS and the language, Natural. These applications were written by Weyerhaeuser some years ago, utilizing those Software AG tools.

Demand was lowered

They had divested one of the major divisions within the company, and that meant that the demand for mainframe services was dramatically lowered. So, they chose to take the residual applications, the Software AG applications, representing about 300-350 MIPS, and migrate those in their current state, away from the mainframe, to an HP platform.

Many folks listening to this will understand that the Software AG environment can either be transformed and rewritten to run, say, in an Oracle or a Java environment, or we can maintain the customer's investment in the applications and simply migrate the ADABAS and Natural, almost as they are, from the mainframe to an alternative HP infrastructure. The latter is what we did at Weyerhaeuser.

By not needing to touch the mainframe code or the business rules, we were able to complete this project in a period of six months, from beginning to end. Weyerhaeuser tell us that they are saving over $1 million today in avoiding the large costs associated with mainframe software, as well as maintenance and depreciation on the mainframe environment.

... The more monolithic approach to applications development and maintenance on the mainframe is a model that was probably appropriate in the days of the large conglomerates, where we saw a lot of companies trying to centralize all of that processing in large data centers. This consolidation made a lot of sense, when folks were looking for economies of scale in the mainframe world.

Today, we're seeing customers driving for a higher degree of agility. In fact, my second case study represents that concept in spades. This is a large multinational manufacturing concern. We will just refer to them as "a manufacturing company." They have a large number of businesses in their portfolio.

Our particular customer in this case study is the manufacturer of electronic appliances. One of the driving factors for their mainframe migration was ... to divest themselves from the large mainframe corporate environment, where most of the processing had been done for the last 20 years.

They wanted control of their own destiny to a certain extent, and they also wanted to prepare themselves for potential investment, divestment, and acquisition, just to make sure that they were masters of their own future.

Pickett: ... Just within the past week, there was a survey by AFCOM, a group that represents data-center workers. It indicated that, over the next two years, 46 percent of the mainframe users said that they're considering replacing one or more of their mainframes.

Now, let that sink in -- 46 percent say they are going to be replacing high-end systems over the next two years. That's an absurdly high number. So, it certainly points to a trend that we are seeing in that particular environment -- not a blip at all.

More Stories By Dana Gardner

At Interarbor Solutions, we create the analysis and in-depth podcasts on enterprise software and cloud trends that help fuel the social media revolution. As a veteran IT analyst, Dana Gardner moderates discussions and interviews get to the meat of the hottest technology topics. We define and forecast the business productivity effects of enterprise infrastructure, SOA and cloud advances. Our social media vehicles become conversational platforms, powerfully distributed via the BriefingsDirect Network of online media partners like ZDNet and IT-Director.com. As founder and principal analyst at Interarbor Solutions, Dana Gardner created BriefingsDirect to give online readers and listeners in-depth and direct access to the brightest thought leaders on IT. Our twice-monthly BriefingsDirect Analyst Insights Edition podcasts examine the latest IT news with a panel of analysts and guests. Our sponsored discussions provide a unique, deep-dive focus on specific industry problems and the latest solutions. This podcast equivalent of an analyst briefing session -- made available as a podcast/transcript/blog to any interested viewer and search engine seeker -- breaks the mold on closed knowledge. These informational podcasts jump-start conversational evangelism, drive traffic to lead generation campaigns, and produce strong SEO returns. Interarbor Solutions provides fresh and creative thinking on IT, SOA, cloud and social media strategies based on the power of thoughtful content, made freely and easily available to proactive seekers of insights and information. As a result, marketers and branding professionals can communicate inexpensively with self-qualifiying readers/listeners in discreet market segments. BriefingsDirect podcasts hosted by Dana Gardner: Full turnkey planning, moderatiing, producing, hosting, and distribution via blogs and IT media partners of essential IT knowledge and understanding.

@ThingsExpo Stories
Michael Maximilien, better known as max or Dr. Max, is a computer scientist with IBM. At IBM Research Triangle Park, he was a principal engineer for the worldwide industry point-of-sale standard: JavaPOS. At IBM Research, some highlights include pioneering research on semantic Web services, mashups, and cloud computing, and platform-as-a-service. He joined the IBM Cloud Labs in 2014 and works closely with Pivotal Inc., to help make the Cloud Found the best PaaS.
Cloud-enabled transformation has evolved from cost saving measure to business innovation strategy -- one that combines the cloud with cognitive capabilities to drive market disruption. Learn how you can achieve the insight and agility you need to gain a competitive advantage. Industry-acclaimed CTO and cloud expert, Shankar Kalyana presents. Only the most exceptional IBMers are appointed with the rare distinction of IBM Fellow, the highest technical honor in the company. Shankar has also receive...
"Evatronix provides design services to companies that need to integrate the IoT technology in their products but they don't necessarily have the expertise, knowledge and design team to do so," explained Adam Morawiec, VP of Business Development at Evatronix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Business professionals no longer wonder if they'll migrate to the cloud; it's now a matter of when. The cloud environment has proved to be a major force in transitioning to an agile business model that enables quick decisions and fast implementation that solidify customer relationships. And when the cloud is combined with the power of cognitive computing, it drives innovation and transformation that achieves astounding competitive advantage.
The Founder of NostaLab and a member of the Google Health Advisory Board, John is a unique combination of strategic thinker, marketer and entrepreneur. His career was built on the "science of advertising" combining strategy, creativity and marketing for industry-leading results. Combined with his ability to communicate complicated scientific concepts in a way that consumers and scientists alike can appreciate, John is a sought-after speaker for conferences on the forefront of healthcare science,...
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, a director and senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, discussed the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Red Hat's Chief Archi...
The current age of digital transformation means that IT organizations must adapt their toolset to cover all digital experiences, beyond just the end users’. Today’s businesses can no longer focus solely on the digital interactions they manage with employees or customers; they must now contend with non-traditional factors. Whether it's the power of brand to make or break a company, the need to monitor across all locations 24/7, or the ability to proactively resolve issues, companies must adapt to...
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settl...
Organizations planning enterprise data center consolidation and modernization projects are faced with a challenging, costly reality. Requirements to deploy modern, cloud-native applications simultaneously with traditional client/server applications are almost impossible to achieve with hardware-centric enterprise infrastructure. Compute and network infrastructure are fast moving down a software-defined path, but storage has been a laggard. Until now.
In his general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, discussed how Dice leverages data insights and tools to help both tech professionals and recruiters better understand how skills relate to each other and which skills are in high demand using interactive visualizations and salary indicator tools to maximize earning potential. Manish Dixit is VP of Product and Engineering at Dice. As the leader of the Product, Engineering and Data Sciences team at D...
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that the upcoming DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO New York event will feature 10 companies from Poland to participate at the "Poland Digital Transformation Pavilion" on November 12-13, 2018.
Digital Transformation is much more than a buzzword. The radical shift to digital mechanisms for almost every process is evident across all industries and verticals. This is often especially true in financial services, where the legacy environment is many times unable to keep up with the rapidly shifting demands of the consumer. The constant pressure to provide complete, omnichannel delivery of customer-facing solutions to meet both regulatory and customer demands is putting enormous pressure on...
The best way to leverage your CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO presence as a sponsor and exhibitor is to plan your news announcements around our events. The press covering CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO will have access to these releases and will amplify your news announcements. More than two dozen Cloud companies either set deals at our shows or have announced their mergers and acquisitions at CloudEXPO. Product announcements during our show provide your company with the most reach through our targeted audienc...
JETRO showcased Japan Digital Transformation Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo® at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. The Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) is a non-profit organization that provides business support services to companies expanding to Japan. With the support of JETRO's dedicated staff, clients can incorporate their business; receive visa, immigration, and HR support; find dedicated office space; identify local government subsidies; get...
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that All in Mobile, a mobile app development company from Poland, will exhibit at the 22nd International CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO. All In Mobile is a mobile app development company from Poland. Since 2014, they maintain passion for developing mobile applications for enterprises and startups worldwide.
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo, taking place November 12-13 in New York City, NY, is co-located with 22nd international CloudEXPO | first international DXWorldEXPO and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world.
"Akvelon is a software development company and we also provide consultancy services to folks who are looking to scale or accelerate their engineering roadmaps," explained Jeremiah Mothersell, Marketing Manager at Akvelon, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
As data explodes in quantity, importance and from new sources, the need for managing and protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and cloud environments grow with it. Managing data includes protecting it, indexing and classifying it for true, long-term management, compliance and E-Discovery. Commvault can ensure this with a single pane of glass solution – whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enter...
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that ICC-USA, a computer systems integrator and server manufacturing company focused on developing products and product appliances, will exhibit at the 22nd International CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO. DXWordEXPO New York 2018, colocated with CloudEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City. ICC is a computer systems integrator and server manufacturing company focused on developing products and product appliances to meet a wide range of ...