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Trend Watch: Cloud Computing

This is the first in a multi-part series with a focus on trends that are interesting and important, from cloud computing to digital transformation, all with a clear focus on enterprise computing. In this post, I jump into cloud computing and discuss the subject at this point-in-time.
Cloud Computing Now
Right now, cloud computing is booming. Need proof? Consider one aspect of the cloud computing ecosystem, public cloud computing. According to the Worldwide Semiannual Public Cloud Services Spending Guide from IDC, worldwide spending on public cloud services will grow at a 19.4 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR), which is almost six times the rate of overall IT spending growth. The growth is from nearly $70 billion in 2015 to more than $141 billion in 2019.  

The report discusses how “Software as a Service (SaaS) will remain the dominant cloud computing type, capturing more than two thirds of all public cloud spending through most of the forecast period.”  Also, “Worldwide spending on Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS) will grow at a faster rate than SaaS with five-year CAGRs of 27.0 percent and 30.6 percent, respectively.”

Takeaway: Cloud is booming, but what about cloud on mainframe computers. What is it and how is that doing?

Mainframe Cloud
If you are not following the “cloud on mainframe topic,” you might now be aware that the IBM z13 platform has many features specifically targeted to cloud service providers and businesses. IBM reports that a single z13 system can support as many as 8,000 virtual servers, and is significantly less expensive to operate than x86 and public cloud alternatives. It’s widely known that IBM mainframes deliver higher levels of reliability, availability, serviceability and business continuity than virtually any other hardware platform and the z13 continues that tradition. Security is also second to none.
For a long time, enterprise-grade Linux and open technologies have been important to IBM’s mainframe success story. Computerworld reports that mainframe revenue in this space represents over half of z System annual sales. With the z13 launch, IBM added several updated cloud-centric features along with the new Kernel-based VM hypervisor and IBM Cloud Manager with OpenStack V4.2, making it possible for the z13 system to be configured as a fully open cloud environment.
Takeaway: Cloud on mainframes is clearly part of the cloud boom. Its success is fueled by robust IBM mainframe hardware, Linux and open-source software.
Next Post
Next week, I’ll continue this point-in-time analysis of trends with a focus on Linux. According to the Linux Counter*, there are about 89,365,600 Linux users in the world. With this as a start, I’ll explore Linux use in enterprise systems.

*Update: The Linux Counter project was shut down in December 2018.