Evangelizing Mainframe
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'Dumbing' Down the Mainframe

“IBM Software for System z for Dummies” by Lawrence Miller is a great resource for enterprise computing students and mainframe users of all skill levels, functioning as both an introduction to the benefits of System z as well as a good reference guide. But don’t let the “for Dummies” branding deter you—it doesn’t sacrifice substance for simplicity.

As its introduction states, the primary goals of this book are for customers to discover how:

• IBM software for System z delivers a private cloud infrastructure for enterprises
• Such solutions ensure critical data is always available, making it accessible in new ways so actionable insights can be derived through analytics
• The mainframe provides ultimate security, ensuring the integrity of critical data while mitigating risk and providing assured compliance

Helpful icons are furthermore used throughout the chapters to highlight especially salient information, technical jargon and useful suggestions.

The book, available online free of charge, is divided up into six intuitively organized chapters, beginning by tracing the history of mainframes from their origins in 1964 to contextualizing System z technology within the IBM Smarter Planet initiative.

Especially interesting tidbits for those new to mainframe are that many of the founding innovations for System/360 in 1964, such as storage protection, are still used today, obviously with extensive enhancements. Furthermore, the seeds of virtualization, which has boomed since the early 2000s, were actually developed for IBM mainframe computers in 1967, as the product of joint research with Cambridge University. If the longevity of past innovations suggests any sort of pattern for the future, just think of how current technology will be adapted and enhanced in the next 50 years!

Readers then learn about the benefits of deploying a private cloud with System z servers, which are designed to run thousands of independent, concurrent workloads; the possibilities of critical data, which enable companies that utilize analytics to be 260 percent more likely to be top performers; and the security features available through System z, which integrates security across servers, storage, and software to provide a secure deployment environment for applications, while protecting them from threats and fixing vulnerabilities.

The book concludes with System z advantages from a variety of perspectives, including banking, energy, government, healthcare, industry, insurance, retail and telecommunications. Examples of these applications include streamlining banking operations, spotting trends in retail, optimizing government workloads, and acting as a central processing hub for healthcare partners. Regardless of the perspective, “IBM Software for System z For Dummies” outlines how the mainframe can be utilized to efficiently process and streamline analytics for virtually (pun intended) any business.

Chris Bowman is an MSP TechMedia intern.

Posted: 8/6/2013 1:01:01 AM by Chris Bowman

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