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Pandemic Pressures, and Mainframe User Insights

For many mainframers, the arrival of Arcati Mainframe Yearbook’s latest edition brightens up the dull winter months. The 2022 volume of this fascinating publication is now available and completely free. Let’s take a look at highlights from 2022.

Mainframers’ Pandemic Pressures

The past two years have been strange times for everyone, with people working from home or hybrid working and employees out sick or isolating because someone in their household tested positive for COVID-19. This has put a lot of pressure on mainframers to ensure their companies stay in business and other employees can work from anywhere. Even with online conferences, there haven’t really been many opportunities to catch up with colleagues and discuss up-and-coming technologies, new ideas that might make life easier, or fading technologies that are being replaced by something new. That’s where the Yearbook really scores. The 157 page-long publication contains useful information for both new and experienced mainframers.

The Mainframe User Survey Overview

The mainframe user survey is a highlight of the year for many people. This survey illustrates what’s been happening at users’ sites. It’s a good way for mainframers to compare what they’re planning to do with what other sites have done.

This year, the results came from the 100 respondents who completed the survey on the Arcati Web site between October 20, 2021, and November 26, 2021. Just over half—53%—were from North America. The Asia/Pacific region accounted for 21% of respondents, with only a tenth of respondents from Europe. The Middle East/Africa contributed 10%, and South America had 5%.

The largest group of respondents—37%—came from companies with over 10,000 employees worldwide. Almost a third—32%—had 1001-5000 staff. About 11% had 5001 to 10,000 employees, and companies with under 200 and between 201 and 1000 employees each made up 10%.

What the Arcati Mainframe Yearbook Offers

This year’s survey provided interesting insight on how various sites are adopting the new technologies that seem to come out annually and how the mainframe world seems to be integrating with cloud computing in a hybrid environment. Clearly, working with mainframes is an interesting way to spend your day. They can reach out to mobile devices and the cloud, and they can speed up the previously very slow application development process using DevOps. CICS and IMS continue to have quarterly updates that add value to the product.
The mainframe strategy section contains articles by industry gurus and vendors with titles such as:

  • Always Ready for What’s Next: Mainframe Fuels Hybrid Cloud’s Future
  • Why the Call for Zero Trust in 2022
  • Mainframe Modernization: How a Data-Centric Approach Creates More Business Value

Another section provides a guide to sources of information for IBM mainframers. This includes information on newsletters, magazines, user groups, blogs, mainframe-related apps and social networking information resources. It highlights sources like the Enterprise Tech Journal, the TechChannel website, IBM Listservs, SHARE’s Five-Minute Briefing from Database Trends and Applications, Facebook pages and LinkedIn discussions. The guide also includes user groups, such as SHARE and IDUG and a short discussion about IBM Expert TV.

In addition, the glossary of terminology section explains what all the acronyms stand for, in an attainable way. Amongst the terms that have been added this year are: Algorithmic IT Operations (AIOps), Ansible, Breach, Cloud Paks, Cyberattack, CyberSecurity Mesh Architecture (CSMA), Kyndryl, Secure Access Service Edge (SASE), Site Reliability Engineer (SRE), Telum processors and the seemingly ubiquitous Zoom.

The mainframe evolution section provides a mainframe hardware timeline detailing all the mainframe models that have been released by IBM and the date of their first availability from 1952 to 2021. In addition, there’s a diagram detailing all of the original OSes available for mainframes (e.g. BOS, OS/360 and CP40) and the stages of their evolution to the ones that are currently available (e.g. z/VSE, z/OS and Linux on IBM Z).

The Yearbook’s Importance

The no-charge Arcati Mainframe Yearbook has been the de facto reference work for IT professionals working with z/OS (and its forerunner) systems since 2005. It provides a one-stop shop for everything a mainframer needs to know—definitely something worth taking a look at.

You can download a copy of the Arcati Mainframe Yearbook here.