Right now, we’re rethinking how you keep your CICS and z Systems environment running lean and mean. You might have heard about the new, cloud-based IBM CICS Operational Insights open beta (launched earlier this year, and just updated this week). This represents the first foray into tooling in the cloud for z Systems, and it’s led to a lot of intrigued customers.
But I don’t want to write a marketing spiel here… this is about us exploring how we can bring you the absolute best experience when managing your mainframe - and how the cloud can contribute to that. We’ve got some great ideas, but we’re still learning, and it’s a multifaceted subject… just some of the factors we’re thinking about include:
Installation – we’re used to having tools co-located with our mainframe middleware. But what would it mean if you could get some key tooling functions, for example a basic performance report, without having to go through an install process first?
Data security – we’re all protective of our data. Tools in the cloud mean data in the cloud. So what do we need to do to make uploading data to the cloud feel A-OK?
Billing – the cloud model offers a new way of paying for software, with pay-as-you-go and annual subscriptions being common. This sits in contrast to the one-off, perpetual license purchases usually associated with tooling. Does this make the cloud a great place for tool evaluation, project-based work, and even just spreading the cost?
Fast function – cloud and continuous delivery are perfect partners, with frequent code drops being able to be delivered without you even having to download them.
Best foot forward – there’s lots that could be done, but what are the killer functions you’d like to see in the cloud first? The ones that would really make your life easier day to day, and help you keep on top of your most pressing challenges.
All abilities – this could be a great opportunity for us to not just provide a slick experience for experienced CICS and z pros, but could help less experienced mainframe staff get to grips with mainframe optimization too. Throughout this process we’re focusing on a great user experience, clear visualizations, and even suggestions for actions based on the results of reports.
What do you think?
So I've shared a lot of thoughts and questions there, but what really matters is what you think. Maybe you have strong feelings about z tooling reaching the cloud – love it or hate it. Maybe you’re on the fence, but curious. Either way, we’d love you to contribute your thoughts to the project.
A great way to start is to complete our short 5-minute survey about mainframe management at https://ibm.biz/BdXttm. I look forward to hearing what you think!
Product Manager, CICS Operational Insights