What is a mainframe cloud? It is ironic that after the processor architecture wars of the late 20th century (think DEC, HP, Tandem, etc.), the venerable 390 architecture is one of the only three mainstream surviving processor types - Intel, 390 and ARM. And now IBM is intent on continuing their mainframe success by turning the latest generation of trusted and secure mainframe systems to new uses in standards-based clouds. They even have a new LinuxONE mainframe offering that turns a traditional mainframe on its head by preconfiguring it as a powerful Linux-based cloud system. Administered with Linux management tools and accessed over open standards networks with Linux and open APIs.
Both z/VM-based Linux on System z and LinuxONE systems are powerful hardened platform for modern distributed applications including those designed around open APIs and REST-based services. But for success what is also needed is a springboard for developing the ecosystem of software, services, and trained professionals needed to make an offering like this work. That is where the Open Mainframe Project comes in. Sponsored by the well-known Linux Foundation, this group seeks to increase collaboration across the mainframe community and to developed shared tool sets and resources.
From the Open Mainframe Project website at https://www.openmainframeproject.org/ the mission of the Open Mainframe Project is to:
•Create an open source, technical community that industry and community participants may easily participate in and so that they may contribute to the creation of assets and materials that will benefit the ecosystem around Linux and open source software on the mainframe;
•Include participation of leading members of the ecosystem, including end users, solution providers, application developers and systems administrators to ensure the Open Mainframe Project addresses the needs of the community; and
•Host the infrastructure for the open source project, establishing a neutral home for community meetings, events and collaborative discussions and providing structure around the business and technical governance of the project.
Why are we joining? As Roberto Basilio, our VP Product Management at Hitachi Data Systems said in the announcement press release, “Hitachi Data Systems is happy to join forces with IBM and others in the Open Mainframe project to expand the ecosystem around Linux and open source software on the mainframe. Joining the Open Mainframe project gives Hitachi a chance to lend its expertise in mainframe, storage, real-time automation, cloud-standards and software-defined infrastructure to this growing community and adds to our extensive open standards project participation .”
Hitachi Data Systems is expanding from being a storage and data management company to one providing information management and Social Innovation – technology innovation for business and social solutions. As part of that, cloud computing and open software interfaces are a big part of the future. People don’t want to install and manage software, they just want to use it. We see the Open Mainframe project as one step on that road we are on with our customers, taking them from what works to what’s next.