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Blog | Open Mainframe Summit

Leveraging the Open Mainframe for Hybrid IT

By | April 6, 2022

The mainframe is still critical for enterprise business functions, particularly due to its capacity for high-speed processing and unique security features. However, it might not be clear how the mainframe can be a vital help for organizations undergoing a digital transformation.

In this video from Open Mainframe Summit 2021, Alan Clark, CTO, Directing Industry Initiatives & Emerging Standards at SUSE, talks about how to leverage IBM Z as a key element of a hybrid IT infrastructure. Watch the video or continue reading for more details. 


Linux in the Mainframe: A Success That Has Lasted Decades

2000 was a long time ago. It’s interesting to look back at that time, since a lot of new incredible technologies were introduced around that time, such as Bluetooth, flash drives, and camera phones.

Perhaps more importantly, the open-source movement was starting to get real traction, and so was Linux. SUSE brought Linux to the enterprise in 1992, starting a partnership that’s almost 30 years old.

Commercial Linux was introduced to the mainframe by SUSE, partnering with IBM, during the fall of 2000. Since that time, SUSE and IBM have consistently seen that Linux grows in the mainframe world. Engineering excellence and longtime business expertise are the causes of that.

Constant Change in the IT Industry

Things have changed a lot since the year 2000, which can be considered the start of a wave of new transformative technologies. The pace of change itself has accelerated. We live in constant change, caused by many factors.

Coping with such frantic change is a big challenge. Organizations have to deal with regulations, external events—such as COVID—competition, and shifts in customer needs and expectations.

Business leaders and enterprises are accelerating their adoptions in technologies and processes, driven by the need to develop new services, products, and capabilities at the speed the market demands. Such capabilities are often at the core of the digital transformation processes many organizations undergo, such as adopting cloud-native technologies and establishing CI/CD processes for delivering applications.

But there’s an issue: how can we continue evolving our infrastructure?

How Can We Ensure Infrastructure Keeps Pace?

Regarding the need for constant innovation and adoption of new technologies and processes, how can we ensure our infrastructure keeps up? The answer is to bring together all operations into a hybrid IT operations model.

But how can a mainframe help with that? IBM Z is uniquely positioned to help organizations across three main axes: data protection, security, and compliance.

When it comes to data protection, IBM Z includes pervasive encryption both for data in flight and data at rest. On the security axis, IBM Z can provide secure execution. This means you have a trusted execution environment to protect critical workloads from internal and external threats. Organizations can then scale to thousands of workloads in total isolation, protecting containers and ensuring confidentiality for sensitive data.

Finally, we have compliance with continuous uptime. IBM Z allows organizations to maintain systems compliance and currency without taking systems down.

How to Use the Best Infrastructure for Each Use Case?

To keep up with the frantic pace of change we mentioned earlier, organizations must leverage modern technologies. One such revolutionary piece of technology is software containers.

The use of containers is key in enabling organizations to shift toward cloud-native systems. But as you scale, orchestrating such an environment can become a challenge, even as enterprises resort to Kubernetes.

The mainframe can help in this area as well. IBM Z can be part of this transformation with Kubernetes management.

Accelerate Business Innovation

In this ever-changing scenario we live in, success demands adaptation. Large enterprises face unique challenges, but the best organizations embrace transformation, leveraging the best technologies at their disposal—including the mainframe.

Open Mainframe Summit 2022

If you are interested in more content like this, visit the Open Mainframe Summit website. You can submit a speaking proposal, sponsor the event or register now:

This post was written by Carlos Schults. Carlos is a consultant and software engineer with experience in desktop, web, and mobile development. Though his primary language is C#, he has experience with a number of languages and platforms. His main interests include automated testing, version control, and code quality.