BMC has expanded its efforts to bring DevOps best practices to the development of mainframe applications by integrating the BMC Compuware ISPW continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) platform with Git repositories.
In addition, the company tightened integration between BMC Compuware ISPW and BMC AMI Ops platform and integrated BMC Compuware Topaz Workbench for building applications with code scanning tools from Vercacode.
Finally, there is also now a BMC Enterprise Connector for Illumio that provides a bi-directional interface between the zero-trust segmentation platform from Illumio and the mainframe. In addition, the BMC AMI Command Center for Security system can now also surface malicious performance activity to accelerate incident response.
John McKenny, senior vice president and general manager for intelligent Z optimization and transformation at BMC, said the overall goal is to make the mainframe just another platform where IT teams can apply DevOps best practices to build applications faster. That’s more critical than ever because mainframes are often at the core of digital business transformation initiatives and require integration with a wide range of distributed computing platforms. A recent survey published by BMC found two-thirds of respondents (66%) are investing in new technologies such as AIOps and artificial intelligence/machine learning (AI/ML), DevOps and integrations.
That approach enables organizations to leverage existing mainframes in a way that minimizes technical debt rather than duplicating functionality, added McKenny.
When it comes to DevOps in mainframe environments, the biggest challenge these days has more to do with culture than the maturity of the tools being provided, he said. Many of the IT teams building mainframe applications still rely on waterfall processes mainly because of simple inertia and a general fear of change, McKenny noted.
There is, however, a new generation of IT professionals that have embraced modern development practices across all platforms to accelerate the rate at which applications are built and built, said McKenny. That shift is leading to the broader adoption of DevOps best practices within both mainframe and distributed computing environments, he added. In fact, as a result, enterprise IT has never been more hybrid, he noted.
IBM continues to invest in mainframes, so the platform should remain relevant well through this decade and into the next. Though it’s been nearly 60 years since the venerable platform was introduced, it continues to host mission-critical applications for a broad range of enterprise IT organizations. Most recently, IBM added an IBM z16 edition of the mainframe that adds a dedicated on-chip AI accelerator in addition to quantum-safe cryptography. It’s not clear how quickly organizations that have mainframes will upgrade, but that level of investment suggests IBM is still investing heavily in mainframe research and development.
Regardless of how—or even who—builds applications for the mainframe, tools such as Git repositories will be more widely used if for no other reason than to more easily share code. Now, the issue is improving the overall level of DevOps maturity within mainframe environments to keep up with the rapid pace at which applications are being built and updated across the rest of the enterprise.