Why the Mainframe Remains Relevant in 2022
Many of the world’s largest companies are still running their most critical business applications on mainframe computers. Leading enterprises in banking and finance, insurance, retail, and logistics rely on mainframes for their security, reliability, and scalability. Federal, state, and local governments, likewise, depend on these workhorse systems to deliver day in and day out.
There are widespread misconceptions about the decline of mainframe computing. In fact, the number of transactions processed on mainframe systems continues to increase every year. Today, mainframes process 90 percent of all credit card transactions. They handle 68 percent of the world’s production IT workloads, yet contrary to popular conceptions, they account for only 6 percent of IT costs. 71% of Fortune 500 companies are using mainframe systems to handle their most critical transaction processing workloads.
Even as digital transformation prompts many organizations to migrate to the cloud, mainframes are evolving to handle AI and machine learning, integration to mobile applications and edge systems, and increased agility. They are also evolving to address new cybersecurity threats. Systems that once operated in relative isolation are now integrating with mobile devices, web services, and distributed applications running in the cloud.
With the launch of IBM’s z16 series of mainframe computers, that company is doubling down. IBM is making AI and real-time insights an integral part of what it does, for example. IBM is evolving its mainframe offerings to become an agent of digital transformation for organizations with high transaction volumes.
Precisely: Supporting The Evolution of Mainframe Systems
Precisely is riding that train along with IBM, supporting our mutual customers as they shift toward open integration, agility, and digital transformation – all the while maintaining the highest standards for security and availability.
Precisely has a broad portfolio of mainframe solutions spanning data integration, optimizations, and performance, supported by over 50 years of mainframe software experience and a leadership position in the industry dating back to our earlier days when the company was known as Syncsort.
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Here are some ways that Precisely’s mainframe product suite supports mainframe customers running IBM systems:
Lowering operating costs by offloading workloads to IBM zIIP: Increase the efficiency of your mainframe sort operations and decrease costs by offloading some of the most process-intensive operations. Sorting is one of the most frequently used functions, and it can consume as much as 25% of CPU cycles. Syncsort MFX is a high-performance sort, copy, and join application that takes advantage of the latest IBM z Systems architecture to improve sort performance. Precisely’s Syncsort ZPSaver enables companies to offload over 90% of the sort workload to zIIP, helping companies to maximize the value they get from their IBM mainframe systems.
Rapid, low-risk migration between IMS and IBM’s DB2 database: IBM’s Information Management Systems (IMS) has been a reliable database for years, but many modern applications require a relational database such as DB2. In addition, the staff that has traditionally supported IMS are nearing retirement age, and most companies have found it easier to locate and hire people with DB2 skills.
Moving from IMS to DB2 can be a challenge. Rewriting IMS-based applications is costly and introduces substantial risk. Because IMS-based applications typically process mission-critical transactions, many companies have been reluctant to make the move to DB2.
With Syncsort Optimize IMS, enterprises can migrate to DB2 without rewriting their applications. This all but eliminates the traditional risks and costs associated with IMS to DB2 migration projects. Syncsort Optimize IMS works with your existing software so your applications can remain unchanged.
Real-time analytics: Integrate mainframe data seamlessly into next-gen cloud and data platforms with one solution. Precisely’s Ironstream and Connect CDC solutions offer a distinct advantage: our decades of mainframe experience. We understand the challenges of working with mainframe data such as VSAM, IMS, COBOL copybooks, as well as mainframe fixed and sequential files. Our integration solutions bridge the gap between your workhorse mainframe systems and cloud data warehouse and analytics platforms like Cloudera, Databricks, Azure Synapse, Apache Hadoop, and others.
Planning, managing, and optimizing IT operations: Mainframe systems process massive volumes of critical and sensitive information every day. In the past, these systems operated in relative isolation, but today, they exist within the context of very complex IT environments. If you aren’t integrating your mainframe security and IT operations data with data from the other systems in your IT landscape, then you have only part of the picture you need to manage your IT world. Precisely’s Ironstream and Connect solutions offer a distinct advantage: our decades of mainframe experience. Our integration solutions bridge the gap between your workhorse mainframe systems and cloud data warehouse and analytics platforms like ServiceNow, Splunk, Cloudera, Databricks, Azure Synapse, Apache Hadoop, and others.
Your Mainframe System: Serving You in the 2020s and Beyond
The question is no longer about abandoning the mainframe; it’s about optimizing and modernizing mainframe systems to take full advantage of their strengths. As IBM doubles down on its commitment to the z Series platform, enterprises can benefit from a range of products and services that help them get the most from their mainframe investments.
Read Precisely’s ebook, ROI Strategies for IT Executives and learn about some additional challenges that organizations struggle with and suggested solutions on how to overcome them, in order to get a better return on investment within their existing IT infrastructure.