I attended my first IBM Edge conference this week, along with 6000 other attendees who are interested in infrastructure. Infrastructure includes stuff like monitoring, backups, recovery analysis, data integration, etc. It’s not a very sexy topic, but like hygiene, it’s important when it’s lacking. However, this week at Edge2015 , there were some pretty sexy topics.
Storage: As expected, flash storage was highlighted in many sessions and discussions. This is a good example of a new technology that can open up new possibilities for new applications, so that’s sexy. Less sexy is that flash storage rarely ever replaces something else. This can add additional complexity into a world that is already pretty complex for the storage administrator that needs to think about backup/recovery and disk replication and requirements at a remote recovery site. Here’s where infrastructure matters, and why companies like Boeing were present to share their experiences and learn from the experts on topics like automatic storage tiering for those cases where flash is additive to the storage landscape
z Systems: At Rocket, we love the mainframe, so we can never get enough of hearing customers tell their mainframe stories—good, bad or ugly. In fact, it’s usually the bad and the ugly that we seek out because those represent the hard problems that we like to solve. On Tuesday, we invited a few customers to a roundtable lunch to talk about their experiences with Linux for z Systems (zLinux). Interestingly, they didn’t come with big technical problems. Instead, they described their frustration with their organizations not leveraging zLinux enough. OK, not sexy. What was sexy was hearing the story of Radix, a company in the travel industry that recently made the decision to replace their entire x86 server farm running Linux with z Systems. This is a company that had never touched a mainframe before in their lives. Yep, check the sexy box now.
Cloud and mainframe data: If you know Rocket, then you know that we invest in technologies in and around data, and I already mentioned that we love the mainframe. If you know IBM’s cloud strategy, then you know about Bluemix. But what happens when you bring together BlueMix and mainframe data? Well, this was the highlight of the conference for me. Ross Mauri, GM of the z Systems division invited our CEO, Any Youniss, to join him up on the stage to make a significant announcement. Available as a beta product next month, Rocket Mainframe Data Access for Bluemix allows developers using Bluemix, and optionally SoftLayer, to access all on-premise mainframe data. That lays the infrastructure for some really cool mobile apps to use Mongo/JSON to access VSAM, IMS, ADABAS, etc. data without even knowing what those data stores are all about. You learn more about it on our website, and also sign up to be notified when the beta is ready.
Infrastructure matters—this week and every other week of every year. Kudos to the IBM team for finding ways to make it sexy.