Thursday, June 23, 2011

They shoot mainframes, don't they ?

Until now I haven't been referring much to 'The Register', the site with the subtitle 'Biting the hand that feeds IT'. Yout can't follow them all of course and perhaps I'm just not associating The Register with mainframe. But I want to look at the bright side of this : surely, it's because the mainframe is making its comeback, or should I say, is completely back, that also The Register is giving it more attention than before. As I wrote already quite some time ago : it's when you see the mainframe re-appearing in the less- or non-specialised press that we would know that we're really getting somewhere. Out of our little circle of mainframe adepts. Well, this time has come now. Isn't that great ? Isn't that some serious peptalk ?

So, what's it about : it's about The Registers article : 'They shoot mainframes, don't they ?' with as subtitle : 'Rethinking big iron for the data centre'. Starting point is that many people have still very oldfashioned ideas about the mainframe adhering to the two and two myth : it takes you two years to move applications to the mainframe and it costs you at least $2 million. The white paper The Register presents here takes a closer look at some of those myths and misunderstandigs about the mainframe and contradicts them. I'll give you a couple of quotes to give you an idea :
"(...) objections to the mainframe are firmly rooted in what the platform was, not what it is. That does not necessarily make it the best platform for everyone’s needs, but it does alter the criteria by which it is accepted or rejected".
"(...) the mainframe can answer the problems today that the expansion of traditional data centres and the adoption of the cloud are still struggling to solve".
"Data analysis is an example of an existing application which migrated to the client-server environment, but with limited success: by moving the data to the processing, it has often created multiple versions of the truth, because of the variable age of the data under test. Keeping the processing close to core data can improve analysis".
"(...) reconsidering the mainframe has to be an effort led from the top of the business, and sponsored by it. It requires open minds and a willingness to work outside silos and fiefdoms. Departmental protectionism must be acknowledged, and the project leader must have the authority to overcome it if the opportunity is not to be lost".
You can download the white paper over here. Oh, and I know you keen mainframers have a sharp view and will immediately notice it indicates 'By IBM' as the author, but I still think the paper is worth your time, it's well written and you have to admit it, the quotes I just gave you can surely start a lively discussion about the role of the mainframe in your company.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

BMC acquires NEON’s IMS products

zPrime has long gotten a lot, perhaps too much focus which made us forget Neon Enterprise has more products than just this one. Or should I say, had, when I'm talking about their IMS software. As the BMC press release says : BMC "has acquired the portfolio of IMS (Information Management System) database products and customers from NEON Enterprise Software, a leading mainframe management software company". By this acquisition BMC "enhances its IMS database management portfolio, providing the most comprehensive solution set to best address today’s IT challenges with big data, database availability and data analysis all within an organization’s IMS environment". This acquisition showcases BMCs continuing commitment to the mainframe and shows its belief in a growing mainframe market.

You can find the press release over here and some more information about BMC's IMS products over here.

Friday, June 17, 2011

'Sogeti - RealDolmen' : Partner of choice for a mainframe with a future!

People who (think they) know me would probably call me a cool, or perhaps rather calm person; ok, with this strange aberration of wanting to see every Prince concert in the (European) neighbourhood, but for the rest, not that easily excited about anything. But I càn get excited you know : about my kids getting good grades, about this great book I just read, about a deal that cost a lot of effort we just closed . . . And today I'm really excited about this new announcement we are making, and as a picture tells you more than a thousand words, just take a look below. Perhaps a couple of words of explanation. I know this mainly concerns our customers in Belgium and Luxemburg, but be my guest to read on anyway.

For quite some years now, NV RealDolmen and Sogeti are both occupying important positions in the world of mainframe - NV RealDolmen mainly acting as a hardware reseller and Sogeti mainly delivering services. Now our companies have decided to combine forces in order to become the leader for Mainframe in Belgium.

What are the strengths of Sogeti ?
  • T & M services
    • z/OS, DBMS, DC, performance, operations, …
    • Cobol, PLI
  • Managed Services 24/7 (Onsite & offsite)
  • Server consolidation projects
  • Hardware evaluations
  • Software evaluations
  • Migration projects
  • Assisting customer in new projects
  • Advisory role
What are the strengths of NV RealDolmen ?
  • RealDolmen has years of experience in and knowledge of the mainframe environment
  • RealDolmen provides the customer with information
    • Presentations
    • System z Newsletter
    • Blog (yes, mine !)
  • RealDolmen creates awareness of the new technologies
  • RealDolmen does performance- and capacity-studies
  • RealDolmen makes TCA-calculations ( hardware, hardware maintenance, MLC, IPLA... )
  • RealDolmen offers services for the development of new functions
    • Consultants, project leaders, analysts, software engineers
    • Legacy and other : COBOL, PL/I, CICS, DB2, IMS, Cool:GEN, JAVA, Websphere
What where the needs for setting up this collaboration ?

Sogeti is already one of the main actors in BeLux in mainframe but currently focusing on services. It is not a System z hardware nor System z software partner. It wants to offer the complete picture including technical hardware and software proposals.

RealDolmen on the other hand wants to expand on the mainframe market with a focus on new workload and new zEnterprise customers. In order to offer the complete picture too, we were on the lookout for more technical implementation and support skills and for an improvement of our service value propositions.

So, Sogeti and RealDolmen together, we're convinced that jointly we can deliver an added value to the customers with :
  • Exhaustive offering for (existing) mainframe customers
    • Hardware
    • Software
    • Services
    • Support
  • A reinforced business approach
    • Single point of contact
    • TCO
    • Cost reduction, Performance
    • New workload if it creates value
  • The largest team of dedicated mainframe professionals in BeLux ! ! !
  • The full support of IBM for this project
So, what do you think about it ? Excited ? I can assure you I am !
From now on, Sogeti and RealDolmen, we're your Mainframe Partner !

Thursday, June 16, 2011

IBM’s Centennial : 100 Icons of Progress

Today's the big day for IBM, it's celebrating its 100th anniversary. If you want to browse through some of its historic moments and to learn a bit more about some of the milestones during its history you should have a look at this page : 'IBM's 100 Icons of Progress'.

You've seen them appearing here and there, the 100 Icons like this one :

Each Icon hides a short description of what this meant for IBM or how IBM influenced certain evolutions. And when you click through, you get an extensive article on the subject. This one here refers to Linux of course but there's much more. A couple of examples ? IBM 1401:The Mainframe, The Floppy Disk, RAMAC, System 360, Websphere, Magnetic Tape Storage, The Apollo Missions, Smarter Planet, The Selectric Typewriter, A Culture of THINK etc. etc. ...

As I always say, just check them out !
And . . . go back once in a while, as new ones are added throughout the year !

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

IBM Centennial : happy anniversary

Am I the only one who didn't mention the IBM Centennial so far ? Well, here's the films that've been circulating for a while now. Tomorrow's the big day, so enjoy the movies. I wonder, would the people from IBM get an extra day off or something ?

"Happy Anniversary", as Blixa Bargeld taught us when some one shouted "Happy Birthday" from the public when Einstuerzende Neubauten toured for their 25th, uhm, anniversary. "it's Happy Anniversary !"

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Upcoming events and webcasts

I've just made a new round-up of upcoming events and webcasts. The 'real-life' events are mainly for Belgium, of course.

DB2 : June 9, 2011 - All day event at IBM Forum Brussels
GSE DB2-Security Working group meeting
This event has a really nice agenda on DB2 and security and in the morning there's a separate mainframe track.
Information and Registration

DB2 : June 13, 2011 - Webcast at 5 p.m. Brussels Time
DB2night Show for z/OS platform
Table Spaces new options and migration considerations
This series has already a long tradition for the DB2 LUW version. Now there's also a series on DB2 for z/OS. There are still two sessions left for this season. Do check them out. And . . . the replays also remain available.
Information and Registration

DB2 : June 14, 2011 - Webcast at 5 p.m. Brussels Time
New Features in DB2 10

Information and Registration

IMS : June 14, 2011 - Webcast at 4.30 p.m. Brussels Time
Virtual IMS User Group on 'MSU reduction due to in-memory table management with IMS applications'

Information and Registration

z/OS : June 15, 2011 - All day event at RealDolmen Huizingen
GSE z/OS Working group meeting
The agenda for the moment : Rational Innovations, S390-tools (the Swiss Army Knife for Linux on System z System Administration), a closer look at EAV ...
Information and Registration

DB2 : June 27, 2011 - Webcast at 5 p.m. Brussels Time
DB2night Show for z/OS platform
Top DB2 e-communities, blogs and networking tools that will enhance your DB2 skills
Information and Registration

June 28, 2011 - All day event at IBM Forum Brussels
'10 years of Enterprise Linux on System z'
This looks like a very promising event with some general presentations on Hybrid computing, Linux on system z (past and future) and customer stories from AGC-Europe, Toyota, Securex and P&V
Information and Registration and flyer

System z : September 28-30, 2011
FREE Total Solution event for System z 2011 at IBM Forum Brussels.
Check out my blog post about this event over here. Just pay attention : dates have changed from September 27-29 to September 28-30, 2011.
Information and Registration

DB2 : November 14-18, 2011
IDUG EMEA 2011 in Prague

Information and Registration

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Neon settles legal dispute with IBM - Neon zPrime to be withdrawn

Well, this story has apparantly come to an end with a press release Neon released yesterday. In short : Neon withdraws zPrime from the market and it will ask existing customers to "remove and destroy" their copies of zPrime. You can find the entire press release over here. And I don't think there's much more to add after you've read that one. So, this time apparantly no 'To be Continued' but 'The End', I guess . . .