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Increase the pace of innovation without compromising the stability of core business systems. Many enterprise CTOs and IT leaders are broadening the role of mainframes in response to that challenge as they accelerate the digital transformation of their organization. A key aspect of that transformation involves developing new services in dynamic environments where lines of business expect rapid results. DevOps has shown its mettle in providing speedy solution delivery to meet emerging business demands for new apps and services. Question is, how do you use DevOps to innovate on enterprise mainframe systems that are the backbone of your business?
For insights and answers, we recently spoke with Steve Jin, founder and CEO of DoubleCloud, a search engine company for private and public clouds. One of today’s foremost IT thinkers, Jin writes an influential blog for IT architects and developers.
Q: What can DevOps do for organizations in demanding business and IT environments?
A: Businesses of all kinds are increasing their digital engagement with customers and partners, who have growing expectations about how quickly new applications and services should be delivered. Shortening the time from development to production is what DevOps is all about.
Many IBM customers use mainframes because they consider them to be the preferred choice for core data and applications. DevOps is not a particular technology. It is more a way of organizing your development and delivery process—for example, moving from a traditional waterfall approach to a more agile methodology in which developers, IT operations and QA teams work together.
Q: What advantages does the mainframe DevOps environment offer?
A: DevOps can apply to any system, including a mainframe. In that sense, mainframes aren’t much different from other systems, except that they have the scale and performance to drive very high transaction throughput.
The code and data used in a mainframe environment are often some of the most valuable resources in an organization. Enterprise leaders want to use that data and code to create new services that advance the business. They can do that efficiently and cost-effectively by leveraging APIs and DevOps to rapidly connect new services to core mainframe operations.
Mainframe customers pay special care to ensure reliable services. DevOps done right increases reliability as DevOps includes automation that drives out human errors and embraces practices that enable earlier and more predictable detection of issues.
IBM provides the needed technology and automation, such as continuous delivery tools, to help make DevOps work. IBMers are also creating an open mainframe environment enabling developers to use existing skills and open source platforms, which helps cut the build times for new services.
Q: In what ways does hybrid cloud speed services delivery?
A: It makes sense for a company to have some resources on premises or in a private cloud and other resources in public clouds. With a mainframe, you may want to keep mission-critical data in your data center. But you also want the speed and agility that public clouds bring to DevOps.
This scenario is where hybrid cloud really shines. Instead of waiting for IT to build an environment for the development of one-off projects, you can instantly spin up a development environment in the hybrid cloud and shorten the overall DevOps cycle. A hybrid cloud environment also makes it quick and easy to move mainframe-connected apps from development to production, and deploy them across clouds.
Learn more about IBM enterprise DevOps for mainframes.