Evangelizing Mainframe
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Arcati Mainframe Yearbook 2018

Last year, I introduced you to the 2017 edition of the Arcati Mainframe Yearbook, suggesting that it was very much a hidden gem and many mainframers hadn’t come across it. Since then, over 21,000 people have downloaded it and, importantly, the 2018 edition has just been published.

Sometimes mainframers are too busy at work to really spend time chatting with colleagues at other sites to find out what’s going on, what ideas they are kicking around, or what technologies they are beginning to kick into the long grass in favor of something new. That’s where the Yearbook really scores. It’s over 170 pages long, with useful information for the newest and the most experienced mainframers around.

For many people, the highlight each year is the mainframe user survey. This illustrates what’s been happening at users’ sites. It’s a good way for mainframers to compare what they’re planning to do with what other sites have done. This year, the results came from the 100 respondents who completed the survey on the Arcati website between Nov. 1 and Nov. 30, 2017. Over half (54 percent) were from North America, with a third (34 percent) from Europe, leaving 4 percent from each of the Asia/Pacific region, the Middle East/Africa and South America.

The largest group of respondents are from companies with 1,001 to 5,000 employees worldwide (43 percent). Just over a third (35 percent) had over 10,000 staff. Nine percent had 5,001 to 10,000 staff, and 9 percent had 200 or fewer staff. That left just 4 percent of respondents with 201 to 1,000 staff.

The one surprising result this year was the finding that 75 percent of data is now stored off mainframes, with just a quarter of total data being retained on mainframes. This is the first year that the disparity has been so big. And there are plenty of other interesting results in the survey section.

The mainframe strategy section contains articles by industry gurus and vendors on topics such as:

  • Staying secure and compliant
  • How to ditch Waterfall for DevOps on the mainframe
  • Health solutions provider accelerates integration and sparks IT collaboration using server-side JavaScript
  • z/OS code scanning is essential to IBM Z security
  • DevOps for the mainframe
  • “Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated”
The vendor directory section contains an up-to-date list of vendors, consultants and service providers working in the z/OS environment. There’s a summary of the products they supply and contact information. As usual, there are a number of new organizations in the list this year—indicating that this is still an exciting market place to be in.

One section provides a guide to sources of information for IBM mainframers. This includes information on newsletters, magazines, user groups, blogs and social networking information resources for the z/OS environment. Among the things it highlights are Enterprise Tech Journal, IBM Listservs, SHARE’s Five Minute Briefing on the Data Center, Facebook pages and LinkedIn discussions, as well as user groups such as SHARE and IDUG. There’s also a short discussion about enterprise social networking, and where to find the latest CICS and IMS blogs.

In addition, there’s the glossary of terminology section explaining what all those acronyms stand for, in a way you can understand them. Amongst the terms we’ve added this year are: blockchain, Bluemix, destruction of service attacks, digital transformation, Docker, edge computing, enterprise content management, General Data Protection Regulation, GitHub, Jenkins, Swagger, and security information and event management.

The Mainframe evolution section provides a mainframe hardware timeline from 1952 to 2017, as well as a diagram showing mainframe OS development.

The no-charge Arcati Mainframe Yearbook has been the de facto reference work for IT professionals working with z/OS (and its forerunner) systems since 2005. It provides a one-stop shop for everything a mainframer needs to know.

Posted: 2/20/2018 8:00:00 AM by Trevor Eddolls

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