Data Center Mainframe Management:
The modern mainframe: This isn't your gramps' Big Iron. Mainframe management has evolved dramatically over the past few years. While older mainframe skills, such as COBOL or Assembler, are still important, modern mainframes are becoming less isolated. Today's mainframe manager needs to understand the impact of Web services technology, Linux and Java. Get up to speed on the latest mainframe management tools and tactics with this All-in-One guide.
New in this guide
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- Five mainframe myths busted (Mainframe systems upgrades)
- Mainframe year in review, 2007 (Mainframe systems upgrades)
When it comes to mainframe modernization, applications and hardware present unique challenges for the enterprise. Applications must be revised periodically to reflect changes in the business, and to leverage the emergence of new software technologies. Mainframe hardware upgrades are necessary to support more users and advanced computing features, but new hardware is also costly, and the upgrade process must be planned and tested carefully. Let's look at the key considerations in application and hardware modernization.
Security is a growing issue as more users seek to leverage mainframe applications inside and outside of an enterprise. This usually requires encryption to render data unreadable, identity management to match users to rights and restrictions. There is also a more fundamental shift to a service-oriented architecture (SOA) that promises better accessibility while maintaining security across the mainframe.
The advantages of mainframe computing are often overshadowed by premium hardware and labor costs, a complex and aging architecture, and pricey software licensing or maintenance expenses. And if that weren't enough, there is a shortage of mainframe skills in the IT workforce. In the face of these difficulties, some mainframe shops are abandoning Big Iron and making the shift to open systems. Let's take a closer look at the considerations behind this shift, and examine some of the potential pros and cons of a major platform change.