I’ve mentioned the Arcati Mainframe Yearbook in the past, suggesting that, even though it gets downloaded by over 21,000 people each year, there are still many mainframers that are unaware of this hidden gem. And, importantly, the 2019 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’re kicking around or what technologies they’re beginning to kick into the long grass in favor of something new. That’s where the Arcati Mainframe Yearbook really scores. It’s over 150 pages long, with useful information for both the new and seasoned mainframers.
The Mainframe User Survey
For many people, the highlight of the Arcati Mainframe Yearbook 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 100 respondents who completed the survey on the Arcati website between November 1, 2018 and the November 30, 2018. Over half (56 percent) were from North America with a fifth (20 percent) from Europe, 12 percent from the Middle East/Africa, 8 percent from the Asia/Pacific region and 4 percent from South America.
The largest group of respondents are from companies with 1,001 to 5,000 employees worldwide (46 percent). Almost a third (29 percent) had over 10,000 staff members. At the other end of the scale, 13 percent had 0-200 staff members, leaving 8 percent of respondents with 201 to 1,000 staff members, and 4 percent with 5,001 to 10,000 staff members.
It was interesting to see how various sites are adopting the new technologies that seem to come out every year and how the mainframe world seems to be integrating with the other IT platforms used by most organizations. Clearly, working with mainframes is an interesting way to spend your day—particularly as they can reach out to mobile devices and, with DevOps, speed up what was a very slow process of application development. In fact, even CICS and IMS now have quarterly updates that add value to the product.
Mainframe Strategy and Resources
The mainframe strategy section contains articles by industry gurus and vendors on topics such as the development and use of Zowe to leverage the benefits of open source on a mainframe, and the need for better security on a mainframe, highlighting the benefits of multifactor authentication.
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 along with contact information. As usual, there are a number of new organizations in the list this year—indicating that the mainframe is still an exciting marketplace to be in.
One section provides a guide to sources of information for IBM mainframers. This includes information on newsletters, magazines, user groups, blogs, mainframe-related apps and social networking information resources for the z/OS environment. Among other things, it highlights IBM Systems magazine, IBM Listservs, Destination z, Facebook pages and LinkedIn discussions, as well as user groups such as SHARE and IDUG. There’s also a short discussion about mainframe social media and where to find the latest CICS and IMS blogs.
In addition, there’s a glossary of terminology section explaining what all those acronyms stand for, in a way that means you can understand them. This year, we’ve added terms like DevSecOps, digital reinvention, Nabla container, Office 365, Solution Consumption License Charges, z/OSMF and Zowe.
The Mainframe evolution section provides a mainframe hardware timeline from 1952 to 2019, 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.