As Mitsubishi Electric continued to expand, it needed to ensure a high level of availability and security in its IT infrastructure, as well as investing in a stable platform for long-term growth.
Mitsubishi Electric implemented a pre-release version of z/OS V2.3 on an IBM z13 server as part of the IBM Early Support Program, ensuring rich functionality and extensive support from IBM.
IBM ESPenables Mitsubishi Electric to get ahead with z/OS V2.3 with minimal disruption
Feature-richsoftware environment enables greater system control and visibility
High availabilityof IBM z/OS v2.3 helps boost business agility
Business challenge story
A reliable prospect
Mitsubishi Electric is one of the world’s largest electronics manufacturers, building its international business on innovation and synergy. In recent years, the company has been examining and reinvesting in its IT infrastructure, responding to client demands for greater performance and reliability, as well as its own needs for system unity and compatibility.
The system leader at Mitsubishi Electric explains: “For a company like ours, the most crucial factors are availability and security. IBM has delivered on both of those for us in the past, but we realized recently that our systems needed an upgrade. We try to ensure that we invest in IT systems with a long shelf life; this has driven our investments in IBM technology before now, but that didn’t mean we were going to automatically choose IBM on this occasion.”
Reliability was also a top priority for Mitsubishi Electric. “It is crucial that we minimize potential disruption to our operations. So it is important, not only that IBM z/OS is reliable in itself, but that IBM also provides a range of availability solutions, such as IBM Parallel Sysplex®, where applications and databases are shared as a single system image to enable continuous operations, and IBM HyperSwap®, which provides continuous disk availability by automatically switching if and when individual disk failures occur.”
But no matter how reliable a given system, there can be no absolute guarantee of a zero percent failure rate. It was therefore important that Mitsubishi Electric was able to thoroughly evaluate any upgrade to its operating system: how the system would act in the event of a failure, how such a failure could be fixed, whether or not service would be interrupted, and how long that interruption might last.
“We needed a system we could easily predict, where we would know exactly how to respond if things went wrong,” says the system leader. “We had a number of meetings with IBM’s own product engineers to establish expectations, and concluded that upgrading to IBM z/OS V2.3 would provide the level of reliability we required.
“It was important that, once we had invested in the IBM product, we knew there was a long and stable roadmap for future use and development,” the system leader continues. “The guarantees made in the IBM Mainframe Charter, of continuous innovation and mainframe support, gave us the confidence we needed to re-commit to our long-term partnership with IBM.”
To satisfy its business needs, Mitsubishi Electric upgraded its operating system to the brand-new z/OS V2.3, ahead of its formal release date, running on an IBM z13 server, as part of the IBM Early Support Program (ESP). This early adoption guaranteed Mitsubishi Electric a high level of function verification and general support from IBM’s own development team.
Mitsubishi Electric was very satisfied with z/OS V2.3’s performance ahead of its official release. Hajime Urata, Design Engineer at Mitsubishi Electric, says, “The product was extremely stable, even so far ahead of its ship date. We were also impressed with the level of support offered by IBM.
“A webpage was established for IBM ESP members, which provided lots of useful information on potential bugs, solutions, and modifications,” Hajime Urata continues. “This allowed for bidirectional communications between ourselves and IBM’s own development team. When we did encounter a bug that required direct support, a program modification was made available almost immediately, and we felt that IBM dealt with the issue quickly and thoroughly.”
Mitsubishi Electric also appreciated the new functions of z/OS V2.3, along with the system’s general friendliness to IT engineers. “We were very pleased with the new functions to support system management and operations,” says Hajime Urata. “For example, the SDSF menu has been greatly expanded in z/OS V2.3, which means a lot of information can now be acquired without command inputs or page shifts.
“A function has also been added to check the syntax of system modification parameters, and the Japanese localization of IBM Knowledge Center now offers more extensive documentation than before, which has helped boost usability. In a modern business, there are a wide range of skills an IT engineer needs, so it is important to have a platform with the rich functionality that IBM provides.”
Providing greater convenience
With IBM z/OS V2.3 in place on its IBM z13 server, Mitsubishi Electric is working on a design overhaul to improve its business applications’ user-friendliness, with a view to deploying z/OS V2.3 across its main production systems in the future.
“We’re not just renovating our physical infrastructure,” says Hajime Urata. “We are also in the process of rebuilding our company applications to improve user-friendliness and give our managers greater control over IT operations. For example, we would like to be able to more easily survey the system using the system command panel, rather than requiring RMF or DUMP and IPCS analysis. It’s a time-consuming process, but we think this overhaul will be hugely beneficial in the long term, and we can only manage it thanks to the high level of security and control offered by IBM z/OS.”
Mitsubishi Electric also plans to take advantage of the broad compatibility of the IBM solution, with plans to redesign its existing mainframe to function more like open source servers. “From an IT perspective, we run multiple different platforms in a hybrid infrastructure so that we can best respond to client needs,” says Hajime Urata. “By linking our z13 servers running the new z/OS to our IBM Power® servers running IBM AIX®, we can provide some of that flexibility. In the future, we would like our IBM mainframe to possess a level of interoperability similar to open servers, so that our engineers can seamlessly operate multiple platforms. It’s a challenge, but with IBM support, we believe this is achievable.”
Overall, Mitsubishi Electric is deeply satisfied with its investment in IBM z/OS. “IBM z/OS V2.3 has greatly improved usability and reliability,” Hajime Urata concludes. “Getting out ahead of the official release with the IBM ESP has been a great boon to us, and we look forward to deploying z/OS across our main production systems. IBM’s commitment to longevity gives us confidence in its continuing support for many years to come.”
About Mitsubishi Electric
Mitsubishi Electric is one of the world's leading names in the manufacture and sale of electrical and electronic products and systems, used in a broad range of fields and applications. As a leading global company, it is applying its technologies to contribute to society and daily life around the world.