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IBM strengthens mainframe cloud services with CA's help

IBM continues to mold the Big Iron into a cloud and devops beast.

This week IBM and its long-time ally CA teamed up to link the mainframe and its Cloud Managed Services on z Systems, or zCloud, software with cloud workload-development tools from CA with the goal of better performing applications for private, hybrid or multicloud operations.

IBM says zCloud offers customers a way to move critical workloads into a cloud environment with the flexibility and security of the mainframe. In addition, the company offers the IBM Services Platform with Watson that provides another level of automation within zCloud to assist clients with their moves to cloud environments.

“With so much data being managed on mainframes, including the data of 92 of the world’s top 100 banks, the need to ensure a reliable environment that is updated, secure and scalable is critical. zCloud helps to ensure that our clients have the managed services and capacity when needed, and has helped to reduce the costs associated with operating mainframes by as much as 30%,” wrote Philip Guido, general manager of infrastructure services for IBM Global Technology Services and Greg Lotko, general manager, Mainframe at CA Technologies in a blog post about the partnership

Guido and Latko said that the CA partnership will let customers more easily develop core applications using state-of-the-art development tools and make the platform easily accessible to the emerging generation of developers.

CA's part of the deal includes:

  • CA Brightside: Easily develop applications for the mainframe using existing open source tools and frameworks such as Jenkins, Gradle and IntelliJ thru a command line interface.
  • CA Service Virtualization: Rapidly test and modify applications in place, making it easier for companies to do mainframe test and development in the cloud.
  • CA Mainframe Operational Intelligence: Monitor applications in the cloud and integrate into existing digital performance management solutions.
  • CA Data Content Discovery: Find, classify and protect data to safeguard clients’ personally identifiable information and help meet compliance regulations.

Analysts said the partnership only helps IBM move the mainframe closer to the cloud world.

“That customers are willing to look at the mainframe as a cloud option is not surprising," said Ian Murphy, Principal Analyst with Creative Intellect Consulting. "This is more than just mainframe as a service. It is a sensible extending of their existing computing requirements and shows that in even the most conservative part of the data center, cloud is now an accepted deployment platform for mission critical solutions.

"What is more interesting to me is that CA has realigned itself with the platform. It has been very quiet of late. This has allowed vendors such as Compuware to gain significant market share.”

Murphy said that all of this is good news for customers. "It means that this is not an IBM-only show. They have a choice of software companies with solutions on the platform. In addition, the amount of open source that is now ready for deployment on the mainframe is at an all-time high.”

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