IBM releases z / OS 2.5 to help modernize mainframe computing

Contrary to what you might think, mainframe computing continues to be at the heart of businesses despite the success of cloud computing, and z / OS 2.5 could make mainframes even more valuable, according to the company.

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Vladimir_Timofeev, Getty Images / iStockphoto

IBM recently announced the release of version 2.5 of its z / OS mainframe operating system. The latest version of z / OS is, according to IBM, “designed to accelerate customer adoption of hybrid cloud and AI and drive application modernization projects.”

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This ebook, based on the latest special feature from ZDNet / TechRepublic, takes a close look at current business trends regarding cloud migrations.

The new version of z / OS comes with a IBM study who found mainframes and mainframe-based applications to be a central part of modern business strategies for 71% of executives surveyed. In addition, IBM predicts that the use of mainframes in hybrid cloud environments will double over the next three years.

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“Executives at some of the biggest and most successful companies say the mainframe and the cloud are neither of the propositions. They are closely linked to deliver industry-leading agility and capabilities, ”said IBM.

z / OS 2.5 is doing its best to accommodate the future of mainframe computing, which it believes will be a key part of hybrid AI-driven cloud environments. To this end, new AI capabilities “are tightly integrated into z / OS workloads, designed to give customers business insights for more. informed decision making. ”

In addition to AI capabilities, IBM has added additional security features designed to combat ransomware and Types of SolarWinds attacks. These features include extending ubiquitous encryption to cover additional data types and anomaly mitigation capabilities for real-time insight into atypical network behavior.

z / OS 2.5 will also have new Java / COBOL interoperability features, ease of use for z / OS container extensions and Linux integration, and new cloud storage integration capabilities.

The future of mainframes

Mainframes almost seem an anathema to the doctrine of modern IT, where everything is sent off-site, hosted in the cloud, and turned into a managed service that eliminates hardware problems for IT managers.

IBM strongly disagrees, as does Forrester’s research. In a 2019 report, Forrester described mainframes as seemingly old-fashioned, but they’re not going away.

“Despite reports of its inevitable demise, use of the mainframe is on the rise. Part of this is due to the entrenchment, but also to the inherent strength of the mainframe as a platform, especially with heavy workloads. transactional and high security, ”the Forrester report said.

Forrester data also revealed that 62% of organizations were using mainframes in 2020 (up from 53% in 2018); 53% plan to
increase their mainframe workload

over the next two years, when only 11% said they planned to decrease.

“You could say that [mainframes are the] most secure and reliable source for storing sensitive customer data. They can run unique software (sometimes) and support unique use cases, ”Forrester said.

The mainframe and cloud markets have both experienced growth in recent years, IBM said. Interestingly enough, this trend coincides with another figure in IBM’s report: the percentage of executives who want to completely revamp their infrastructure as part of the digital transformation is declining, while the share of those who want to leverage existing mainframes. increased. This is not a small change either: today, 57% say they want to re-architect; at three years, only 41% say the same. Only 21% said they are currently upgrading existing mainframes, while 46% said they plan to do so within the next three years.

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“IT managers and organizations are finding that cloud solutions are not a replacement for mainframe operations. On the contrary, the two can coexist as part of a holistic transformation strategy that includes modernized mainframe applications and integrated systems supported by a hybrid cloud architecture, ”IBM said.

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