Modernizing Mainframe for the Cloud with Open Source

2:26 am
September 6, 2023

As organizations move towards cloud-centric IT environments, integrating mainframe systems into these environments can seem challenging. However, by utilizing open-source software, the experience of working with mainframes can be made similar to working off the mainframe, especially for developers. Open-source software and DevOps both share a common philosophy and technical foundation, making them essential for mainstreaming the mainframe into the modern cloud landscape.

Using Open Source for Mainframe DevOps

DevOps is a cultural shift that promotes better collaboration and communication across the software lifecycle, supported by automation tools. GitOps, a cloud-native model for operations, complements DevOps by enabling model-driven, configuration-based deployments on scalable infrastructure. Open-source tools like Git and GitOps empower organizations to deliver business outcomes more effectively.

The inclusion of mainframe developers in the development lifecycle requires integrating mainframes into the broader DevOps toolchain. Open-source elements can be used to achieve this integration. The Open Mainframe Project (OMP), hosted by the Linux Foundation and championed by IBM, Broadcom, Rocket Software, and others, provides a wealth of open-source software for mainframe development.

Zowe, the flagship project at OMP, offers mainframe developers modern interfaces to interact with IBM’s z/OS operating system, enabling a cloud-like experience. Additionally, IBM’s open-source-based Wazi provides a family of tools for delivering a cloud-native developer experience for z/OS. These tools allow developers to quickly set up z/OS development and testing systems in the IBM Cloud.

Open-source Mainframe DevOps in Other Clouds

Mainframe modernization and DevOps integration extend beyond the IBM Cloud. Cloud providers like AWS and Microsoft Azure offer managed runtime environments and tools that connect with mainframe environments. For example, AWS has the IBM Z and Cloud Modernization Stack, which runs on Red Hat OpenShift on AWS, allowing containerized modernization tools and connectivity to z/OS environments. Similarly, Azure DevOps solutions integrate with DevOps for zSystems, coordinating the software development lifecycle across zSystems and Azure.

Open-source tools like Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform can be used on both AWS and Azure to automate DevOps processes across cloud and mainframe environments.

IBM’s Leadership in Mainframe Modernization

As the leading mainframe manufacturer, IBM understands the importance of integrating mainframes with the broader enterprise IT landscape. Working with public clouds is a central part of this strategy, as mainframes play a key role in the IBM Cloud. IBM has strong partnerships with AWS and Azure to make mainframes a first-class participant in the cloud ecosystem.

To learn more about mainframe modernization and its integration with the cloud, check out IBM’s Z and Cloud Modernization Center.

FAQs

1. What is DevOps?

DevOps is a cultural shift and set of technical practices that foster collaboration and communication between software development and operations teams. It aims to automate processes, improve efficiency, and deliver software faster and more reliably.

2. What is GitOps?

GitOps is a cloud-native approach to operations that leverages Git, an open-source code management tool. It focuses on declarative management of infrastructure and applications, allowing for efficient and scalable deployments using version control systems.

3. What is the Open Mainframe Project (OMP)?

The Open Mainframe Project is an open-source initiative hosted by the Linux Foundation. Supported by industry leaders like IBM, Broadcom, Rocket Software, and others, its goal is to promote the adoption of open-source software and modern development practices in the mainframe community.

4. What is Zowe?

Zowe is a flagship project of the Open Mainframe Project that aims to provide modern interfaces and tools for mainframe development. It enables mainframe developers to have a cloud-like experience when working with IBM’s z/OS operating system.

5. How can open-source tools be used for mainframe DevOps in other clouds?

Open-source DevOps tools like Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform can be used in conjunction with cloud platforms like AWS and Microsoft Azure to automate and orchestrate DevOps processes across mainframe and cloud environments. These tools bridge the gap between the mainframe and the cloud, enabling seamless integration and collaboration.

Summary

Modernizing mainframe systems and integrating them into cloud-centric IT environments can be achieved through open-source software and DevOps practices. The Open Mainframe Project (OMP), sponsored by IBM and other industry leaders, offers a rich repertoire of open-source tools for mainframe development, including Zowe, which provides modern interfaces for working with IBM’s z/OS operating system. Public cloud providers like AWS and Azure also offer managed runtime environments and tooling to connect mainframe systems with cloud platforms. By combining open-source tools, DevOps practices, and cloud-native approaches, organizations can effectively modernize their mainframe systems and achieve greater agility and efficiency in their IT ecosystems.


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