IBM Announces Five Year March to Mainframe Simplification

Next step in IBM’s ongoing program to introduce the mainframe to new markets, industries and customer accounts

ARMONK, N.Y., October 4, 2006 -- IBM today revealed a cross-company effort to make the IBM System z mainframe -- considered by many to be the worlds most sophisticated business computer - easier to use for a greater number of computer professionals by 2011. The goal of this five-year effort, which will include an investment of approximately $100 million, is to enable technology administrators and computer programmers to more easily program, manage and administer a mainframe system -- as well as to increasingly automate the development and deployment of applications for the mainframe environment. The initiative, involving a team of hardware and software experts, leverages IBM’s expertise in automation and systems management.

The major areas of IBM’s mainframe simplification strategy include:

  • Automated configuration checking to make it easier for information technology administrators and computer programmers to predict and avoid technical problems.

  • Modernizing the mainframe user interface, including network configuration, systems management, and data center hardware configuration designed with both existing IT staff and the new generation of IT workers in mind

  • Improving software asset management technologies to make it easier for users to control software costs and, as well, simplify and automate the acquisition of software services The new z/OS V1.8 on System z -available now - contains several programs, features and tools supporting mainframe simplification including:

  • The IBM Health Checker for z/OS: This z/OS "personal trainer" actively monitors z/OS systems and recommends configuration tune-ups that can improve system resilience, security, and performance.

  • Tivoli's IBM OMEGAMON z/OS Management Console: The OMEGAMON z/OS Management Console provides a modern, graphical user interface for z/OS management. By delivering real-time, health-check information provided by the IBM Health Checker, it can easily automate, eliminate and simplify many z/OS management tasks. IBM plans to expand the role of the Management Console over time to continue to put a modern face on z/OS management and administration.

  • Hardware Configuration Manager (HCM): In z/OS 1.8, HCM has taken a leap forward in simplifying System z hardware configuration. Enhancements include new configuration wizards, the ability to import and export I/O Definition Files, and integrated access to RMF Monitor III reports which can help speed up the detection and resolution of performance bottlenecks.

  • IBM Configuration Assistant for z/OS Communications Server: This tool was introduced in V1.7 as the z/OS Network Security Configuration Assistant. The Assistant, which has been enhanced in V1.8, guides network administrators through the setup of the latest network features of z/OS such as Intrusion Detection Services (IDS), and is designed to help them avoid costly configuration errors.

  • Application Development Simplification: WebSphere and Rational continue to deliver a strong set of solutions to simplify the development, maintenance and modernization of new and core z/OS business applications. These solutions include modern desktop tools for developing, transforming, testing, and deploying applications to z/OS.

  • Open Standards: IBM's support of cross-platform open standards and programming models on System z include recent innovations in service oriented architectures. Information Simplification: The z/OS Basic Skills Information Center is a new web resource designed specifically for IT professionals who are new to the mainframe and z/OS. V1.8 also features a new how-to manual, z/OS Problem Management that guides customers through the task of identifying, analyzing, and reporting z/OS problems. Many more improvements to z/OS information are on the horizon.

“The new z/OS 1.8 coupled with more automation of management tasks and streamlined information delivery will make life easier for z/OS novices and experts alike,” said Jim Stallings, general manager for IBM System z. “From a strategic perspective, a focus in mainframe simplification increases the attractiveness of the platform to a broader swath of IT professionals, as well as continues to provide clients with what is currently recognized by many as the most sophisticated business computing system on the planet."

z/OS leads the industry in security management, with centralized key management for encryption, a single centralized security database and easy administration via directory services. As well, data management on z/OS can be fully automated to provide multi-level storage management and backup, with multi-level recovery. World-class database serving capabilities, enhanced security features designed to help ease security and regulatory compliance concerns and simplified network configuration and automated network management form a solid foundation for enterprise computing.

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All statements regarding IBM's future direction and intent are subject to change or withdrawal without notice, and represent goals and objectives only.

For more information visit http://ibm.com/servers/eserver/zseries/zos/