Modernization Processes

Upcoming Webinar: Measuring the Impact of Shifting COBOL Compute

Shifting COBOL compute to less expensive platforms may be the best first step on the modernization journey. Identifying and moving the execution of your most expensive COBOL batch jobs provides an opportunity to reduce cost or free up funds in an existing IT budget. This modernization technique offers a low-risk, straightforward, and cost-effective approach that could lead to a reduction in your MSU usage spikes and MLC fees. If you move your COBOL compute to

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Improving Mobile Access to Mainframe Assets

Mobile computing has had a seismic impact on IT and modern computing architecture… and will continue into the foreseeable future. Mobile devices – smartphones and tablets – have overtaken traditional computing devices, such as desktop and laptop computers, in terms of how we interact with service providers and retailers. And this transition is even more pronounced among the young. It is not uncommon for a smartphone to be used non-stop during the course of the

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MIPS versus MSUs: What’s the Difference?

How do we rate the capacity of IBM System Z mainframe hardware? Well, these days, IBM publishes the capacity rating of every mainframe that they sell in MSUs, not MIPS. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. When people discuss mainframe capacity, they often talk in terms of MIPS. But what does MIPS mean? And what is an MSU? A Little Bit of MIPS History Starting at the beginning, the question to ask is, “What

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Overcoming the Friction of IT Modernization Plans

Many organizations’ modernization plans become “the best-laid plans of mice and men.”  Plans that are easily waylaid by organizational or business distractions become convenient excuses for postponing IT modernization projects. This is especially true during times of economic downturn and the potential of a recession. Many times, the “problem” is more one of friction that occurs both before and during the project itself. Modernization plans can cause organizational friction as different factions of the IT

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The Whack-a-Mole Effect: Tuning Mainframe Usage for Cost Savings

There are many reasons for tuning your mainframe applications. Surely the most important reason is to provide faster access to your end users. The quicker an application responds, the happier the people that use it will be. But a close second is likely to be cost reduction. Unfortunately, tuning to achieve cost savings is frequently undertaken without a good understanding of just how mainframe costs are calculated. Or at least the major contributor to those

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Understanding Mainframe Pricing to Aid in Modernization and Cost Control

Cost containment is an important criterion for IT departments as organizations everywhere embrace financial austerity. Every decision regarding your computer resources is weighed based on not only the value that it can deliver to your organization, but upon the cost to procure, implement, and maintain. And in most cases, if a positive return on investment cannot be calculated, the software will not be adopted, or the hardware will not be upgraded. One area that many

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Is It Time to “Modernize” your Modernization Plans?

Over the last several decades, I have spoken to many organizations about their mainframe application “modernization plans.” Many claim to HAVE plans, but few report any progress toward completion! Why is that? Why are modernization plans so difficult to start and complete? Perhaps it’s best summarized in the line from a Robert Burns poem – “The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry”!  In other words, no matter how a project is planned,

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Is the Java Modernization Destination Quality or Maintainability?

Your organization has taken the leap and chosen to modernize your existing COBOL monoliths into Java-based application services, ready for the cloud. Your team plots out a journey toward success. Rather than taking a risky big-bang approach, each incremental release on the road toward modernization is prioritized and scheduled to save costs and capture value that finances the next step. The automation factory starts to chew up old tables and churn out Java. The destination

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Best Practices for zIIP Using COBOL and Db2

Hopefully, you’ve been reading along in this series of articles on effective usage of the zIIP on the IBM System z mainframe. But even if you have not, this article focuses on a single topic that does not require in-depth knowledge of zIIP particulars. Herein we will discuss best practices for COBOL and Db2 users to bolster their usage of zIIPs. Why do this? As we have discussed in prior installations, the primary reason to

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A Better Approach – Self-directed, Self-Funded COBOL Modernization

In our previous writings, we’ve discussed the scale of COBOL investment over the last several decades and the challenges of continuing to depend on this legendary programming language. The drivers for modernization remain, and COBOL can’t help but be caught up in the plans of many mainframe organizations.  ANY modernization approach has risks associated with it. The volume of that risk is directly related to the number of components, programs, and applications that need to

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Upcoming Webinar: Measuring the Impact of Shifting COBOL Compute

Upcoming Webinar: Measuring the Impact of Shifting COBOL Compute

Shifting COBOL compute to less expensive platforms may be the best first step on the modernization journey. Identifying and moving the execution of your most expensive COBOL batch jobs provides an opportunity to reduce cost or free up funds in an existing IT budget. This modernization technique offers a low-risk, straightforward, and cost-effective approach that […]

What is the Average Cost per MIPS or MSU? Who Cares!

What is the Average Cost per MIPS or MSU? Who Cares!

The title of today’s post is a question that I get asked all the time. Sometimes by users who are interested in trying to curtail mainframe costs. Sometimes by vendors looking for a way to promote their products that help to reduce costs. While both are well-meaning, this is a question I never answer. Because […]

Common Shifting COBOL Compute Mistakes

Common Shifting COBOL Compute Mistakes

Shifting COBOL compute to less expensive platforms is a great first step on many organizations’ application modernization journey. There are multiple reasons an organization might want to begin with shifting COBOL compute, including low risk, the straightforward nature of the approach, and the potential for extraordinary ROI. NOTE: Cross-compiling COBOL programs into Java byte code […]