Mainframe: The Ultimate Cloud Platform

Cloud computing has become the default option for IT service provision be that off or on premise or via a hybrid model. Against this backdrop the words ‘mainframe’, ‘cloud’ and ‘agile’ may not often appear in a sentence together due to the popular perception that the Mainframe is not as agile as other architectures found in cloud datacenters. However, IBM’s zCloud offering can, and in fact does provide a cloud computing infrastructure with the agility, scale, security, availability and performance to respond to today, and tomorrow’s changing business needs.

[easy-tweet tweet=”Scalability, availability, virtualization, and usage-based metering are all part of Mainframe” hashtags=”IBM, cloud”]

One of the main challenges for CIOs with a large mainframe environment is that as their business grows, so too do the costs to maintain the environment. Take the case of financial services industry – 92 of the world’s ‘Top 100’ banks use mainframe technology and increasingly mobile queries the world over are delivered by – you guessed it, a Mainframe. In a situation where mobile banking volumes are exploding, IBM’s zCloud service can help financial services clients get the additional compute power they require with the added flexibility and scalability needed to meet their demands, without additional capital expenditure. Coupled with scheduled and unscheduled compute demand, this flexibility provides a vital function to supporting the daily operations of many a Mainframe client. IBM’s zCloud offering has helped customers the world over reduce ‘Total Cost Of Ownership’ (TCO) by up to 30 percent through reducing their on premise Mainframe footprint and moving to a ‘pay-as- you-use’ model base. If new product workloads demand more compute power, then so be it quick, easy, and cost effective.

[easy-tweet tweet=”Cloud computing has become the default option for IT service provision via a hybrid model.” hashtags=”mainframe, cloud, IBM”]

Another recent example is a UK financial services company who recently launched a new product that enabled insurance companies to access its data from mobile devices to validate individuals and provide them with online insurance quotes. The IBM zCloud solution enabled the firm to compete in this low-cost- per-click market by using the flexibility and speed of the low-priced cloud platform service, thereby generating a whole new revenue stream.

Finally, one of the reasons for Mainframe not being perceived as agile and cloud-like is perhaps due to the fact that Mainframes are often used in “low profile” yet mission critical “back-office” applications. IBM is focused on this area, through delivering a range of services to compliment the zCloud offering; they are designed to focus in on delivering greater agility for application development. A recent example of a client who leveraged these services was a European Bank which re-launched its newly designed customer-facing digital banking solution where the IBM zCloud offered the backend system. The inherent flexibility and extra capacity capability in these solutions helped the UK based bank to be more agile and radically improve turnaround times to set up custom environments – the net outcome was gaining the confidence of the developers to try out new solutions and deliver them rapidly to the market.

Scalability, availability, virtualization, and usage-based metering have long been part of the Mainframe environment, which the distributed world has zealously tried to recreate, and often claim credit for. IBM’s zCloud portfolio of contributions and services takes these virtues out of the back office and thrusts them out into the bright lights of the future – creating perhaps, the ultimate Cloud Platform.

To find out more about IBM zCloud take a look here.

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