Mid-January 2010 Mainframe Potpourri

It's once again time for some mainframe potpourri — those pseudo-random news items that have piled up in my inbox.

  • At 1:00 p.m. New York time on January 19, 2010, IBM is hosting a teleconference entitled "Making Data Warehousing and Business Intelligence Drive Better Decisions." If you cannot join or missed the call, there's a replay available.
  • Or why not visit Berlin starting on May 17 for the "IBM System z Technical University"? I hear the beer tastes almost as good as Miller Lite.
  • IBM database ace Jeff Josten presented an interesting preview of "DB2 X for z/OS" via teleconference, and you can listen to the replay.
  • The press has been full of upbeat mainframe articles lately, including this one and this one. Also, The Register and ServerWatch.com both reacted to the BC Card announcement. (Was the Western IT press stunned or merely on Christmas vacation?)
  • In the U.S., the Fox television network will broadcast the penultimate episode of "Dollhouse" on January 15. In the episode, the lead character launches an attack on the fictious Rossum Corporation's mainframe. "Taking down the mainframe won't be an easy task." Indeed. Unless you set the password to "guest." Or unless you physically attack a mainframe. (Though GDPS could solve that particular problem.)
  • Has anyone else noticed that you don't need a notebook or desktop PC any more? At least in Japan that's certainly true. All the client-side energy seems focused now on the iPhone, Nokia S60/Symbian, Blackberry, and Android "smartphone" platforms. That trend is bound to influence IT architectures generally. Cue the "death of the PC" press articles.
  • Austin Modine opines that IBM is "big, blue, and boring."
  • BMC sponsored a survey of mainframe customers, and they say they're planning to invest more in the platform. Application modernization, disaster recovery, and server virtualization projects top the list of mainframe investment priorities.
  • SearchDataCenter.com offers its mainframe predictions for 2010.
  • "Invest in mainframe-related stocks," advises ZapThink in their forecast for the next decade.
  • Finally, if anyone needed yet another reminder that the government in Washington, D.C., is truly dysfunctional, take a look at the "Unplugging the Mainframe" video. The U.S. House of Representatives claims that they're "greening the Capitol." Yet this video is thoroughly damning: the House proudly shuts off its only remaining windmill (i.e. their mainframe, occupying a tiny corner of the data center) as the cameraman then pans across the House's vast data center, packed with coal plants belching smoke (i.e. their myriad other servers and equipment, scores of which were installed to stand in for the mainframe). Now that's some creative accounting, even for Washington, D.C. If the House wants to save energy, here's my advice: first, consolidate and virtualize, and use a 2010 mainframe as part of the strategy. (Don't pretend a nearly 20 year old machine is what you should be running in 2010.) Second, how about if the House walks across the building and asks the Senate to consolidate along with them, taking advantage of the mainframe LPAR separation and security that the U.S. military relies on to keep Top Secrets secret? Why is the U.S. House of Representatives running an entirely separate data center anyway? How...un-green. No wonder comments are disabled for that YouTube video. Taxpayers and environmentalists deserve to be outraged.

UPDATE: IBM has some more teleconferences (live and as replays) scheduled for February: "IMS and WebSphere Application Server: SOA in Action at Delta Airlines," "IBM Looks to System z and Cognos 8 BI," "IMS Tools Solution Packs: End-to-End Solution Saves Time, Resources," "Opening the Door to your Enterprise Infrastructure: WebSphere Business Events on System z," and "Reduce IT Costs and Improve your IT Service (with z/VM and Linux)." If you happen to be in Barcelona in late February, and you're interested in core banking, IBM and Oracle have an event for you.

by Timothy Sipples January 15, 2010 in Events
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