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2019 Brought Nonstop Innovation to IT

For IT, 2019 was a year of change and innovation on a large scale. In this IT Trendz post, Joseph Gulla looks back at his articles driven by innovation.

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I’m excited to look back at 2019 before I jump in the main topics that I will explore in 2020. For IT, 2019 was a year of change and innovation on a large scale. In 2019, some of my IT Trendz posts were driven by important events like the announcement of the IBM z15 in September, whereas others resulted from circling back to topics that I explored earlier in my career, like system, network and application automation. I also had a chance to rediscover IBM Redbooks publications, which I used early in my career in the 1980s. These three topic areas are a good place to kick off this year in review. 

IBM z15

On Sept. 12, IBM announced the z15, which is the latest member of the IBM Z platform. My focus for the initial post was titled “IBM z15: What it Protects and How it Does it”—as the product has a major focus on security, as well as business continuity and resilience and hybrid cloud.   
I used five diverse posts to explore different dimensions of the product. Covering this major new product in a series of posts was especially challenging because of the size and scope of the product. I picked an approach for the posts that pointed out resources that would help an individual discover what was important to them about the new product. Here is a brief summary of what I explored.
  1. “IBM z15: What it Protects and How it Does it” starts the discussion of the business value statements used to explain primary aspects of the z15
  2. “Exploring IBM z15 Features” explains how the z15 meets the demands on enterprise servers, which are greater than ever in the history of computing as they include workloads on z/OS with CICS, IMS, databases, Java and APIs. Open-source applications running on Linux in cloud and other configurations are also pushing for more speed and capacity.
  3. “What the z15 Means for Database Administrators and Application Developers” aligns the features of the architecture with the people that will make use of the new features. For example, the z15 is equipped with the IBM Integrated Accelerator for zEnterprise Data Compression, which is designed to reduce the cost of storing, transporting and processing data without changing the applications themselves. System administrators and database administrators would likely handle implementation of this feature.
  4. “Useful z15 Learning Tools” includes demos, technical documents, guides, blog posts and articles from industry sources like Yahoo Finance
  5. “More Remarkable z15 Resources to Review” contains a sampling of what else is available to help you on your journey of discovery
Additionally, I wrote two posts in February about special hardware support in z/Architecture for applications and expanded on those ideas in a two-part article in Destination z. The articles included “Z Architecture Continuously Improves Application Support” and “Z Architecture Improves Database Security, Storage and Performance.” It’s very exciting to explore and write about z15 because there are useful and interesting functions everywhere you look.

System, Network and Application Automation 

In May and June, I wrote five posts that explore automation for systems, networks, batch applications and cloud. Automation is achieved through software that makes use of general programming as well as special interfaces to the OS and subsystems being automated. This software is mature and has developed over a couple of decades. It’s about as good as it gets with software directing software.
“A Journey Through Automation on IBM Z” starts off the series and focuses on the IBM Z Service Automation Suite. As I wrote, the suite is a collection of products that automate and control a large range of system elements spanning both the hardware and software resources in a sysplex. Many of the products in the suite have been growing and changing over the years and are mature yet evolving. For example, Linux on IBM Z is supported. Here’s a look at the other posts.
  1. “Automation by Function and Layers” explores the software stack, systems management and automation concepts, and relevant historical background
  2. “What About Application Automation?” explains that applications that we create automate and enhance the way we perform daily tasks, from payroll and inventory to how we communicate and innovate. It starts to answer the question: But how do we automate the applications? 
  3. “What About Cloud Automation?” focuses on automation with IBM LinuxONE Rockhopper II as it’s a Z product built for the cloud
  4. “The Powerful Capabilities of IBM Cloud Private and IBM Cloud Automation Manager” provides a powerful collection of automation capabilities that help make cloud computing both functional and affordable 

The Bounty That Is IBM Redbooks  

In my exploration of IBM Redbooks publications, I wrote two series separated in time by a few months for a total of seven posts. In July, I started the first series, which touched on a variety of topics.
  1. “IBM Redbooks Have What it Takes” looks at how IBM Redbooks develop and deliver skills, technical know-how and materials to IBM technical professionals, business partners, clients and the marketplace
  2. In “IBM Redbooks Are More Than Books,” I explored how materials on the IBM Redbooks site are in addition to books that include video, education packages and web docs like those for analytics that share lessons learned
  3. “IBM Redbooks: A Look at the Website’s 3 Tabs” is a tutorial where I explain the different tabs on the IBM Redbooks website
  4. “IBM Redbooks: Top 5 Publications you Should Read” reviews a list of five “rock star” Redbooks publications, which I got from Chris Rayns, manager for technical content services for IBM Redbooks
I also interviewed Chris Rayns and published the interview in Destination z. The article was called “9 Questions About IBM Redbooks With Chris Rayns.” 
I ended 2019 with these three posts:
  1. “Getting Started with z/OS Container Extensions and Docker” focuses on the 2019 IBM Redbooks publication titled “Getting Started with z/OS Container Extensions and Docker”
  2. “IBM Redbooks Publication Focuses on IBM Db2 12 for z/OS” explores product content on Db2 12 for z/OS
  3. “IBM Redbooks Publication Dives Into Agile Integration” is an example of an “ideas” book demonstrating that Redbooks publications aren’t just about what’s happening with IBM products, as demonstrated by “Accelerating Modernization with Agile Integration”

Next Post

Next post, I’ll continue this series on the year in review.

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