Far too often, working on a mainframe can feel like working in a silo. You know what your mainframe colleagues at your site are doing and you know what the other onsite IT and network people are doing, but you don’t really know what’s going on at other sites. There are lots of mainframe-focused groups on LinkedIn. And there are user groups like the Virtual IMS
and Virtual CICS
user groups and there are some websites like Destination z, that have mainframe-related information. But there’s one hidden gem that you may not have come across.
This hidden gem comes out every year in the first quarter, and, it’s free. What am I talking about? The Arcati Mainframe Yearbook
. What makes the Yearbook stand out is that it’s a reference for IBM mainframe professionals—no matter how many years of experience they have.
The Arcati Mainframe Yearbook, published since 2005, provides a variety of information a mainframer needs to know. For example, the mainframe evolution section includes a hardware timeline and a graphic illustrating mainframe OS evolution.
In addition, there’s the glossary of terminology section explaining what all those acronyms stand for, in a way that means you can understand them. New terms added this year include agile, IT4IT, ransomware and shift left.
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.
The mainframe strategy section contains articles by industry gurus and vendors on topics such as:
- Mainframe Computing Provides Customer Value and Economies of Scale
- Eight Steps to True Mainframe Agility
- Lower your Mainframe Total Cost of Ownership with zIIP
- The Smart Alternative for Mainframe Disaster Recovery
The annual mainframe user survey is a good way for mainframers to compare what they are planning to do with what other sites have done. The survey found that 25 percent of sites are planning to use big data; five percent of sites are using DevOps with a further 48 percent planning to use it; and 14 percent of sites were already re-using APIs with a further 41 percent planning to. Reinforcing the value of the mainframe to organizations, the survey found that 78 percent of sites have seen some kind of increase in capacity, and 81 percent have seen an increase in technology costs, and yet only 38 percent of sites believe their people costs have decreased or stayed the same. The survey also looks at availability, cloud use and how mainframers work with other IT professionals.
Read more about the survey and features of the yearbook; it’s free and a good resource.
Trevor Eddolls is CEO at iTech-Ed Ltd, an IT consultancy. A popular speaker and blogger, he currently chairs the Virtual IMS and Virtual CICS user groups. He’s editorial director for the Arcati Mainframe Yearbook, and has been an IBM Champion every year since 2009.