Making z Systems Software Installs Easier: What Happens When IBM and Key ISVs Partner for Common z/OS Installation
We’re in an era of mind-boggling complexity in enterprise IT. From security enhancements to distributed commodity infrastructure, organizations often find themselves grappling with complex environments and many service agreements with a variety of vendors.
However, as the demand on IT departments change, budgets shrink and the regulatory environment grows increasingly complex, enterprises are finding that the more they are able to simplify and streamline, the more agile – and therefore competitive – they can become. In short, they are demanding simplicity, and it’s up to today’s IT leaders to deliver it.
IBM is seeking to help mainframe clients with just that. Not only is the z Systems mainframe optimized for cloud and mobile transactions, it boasts the processing ability of 2.5 billion transactions a day – the equivalent of 100 Cyber Mondays every day of the year. Distributed environments cannot deliver this kind of performance.
Another way the mainframe is now helping clients streamline their IT infrastructure is by IBM and other key software vendors coming together to help clients streamline their IT infrastructures for the mainframe, by establishing a new industry standard for product installation. Today, we all have different ways to install our products. Now, IBM, along with BMC Software, CA Technologies, and others are working toward creating a common installer to help streamline software management in z/OS.
Together, the participating companies cover the lion’s share of all software for z/OS, and we want to provide clients with greater flexibility as they quickly configure their environments. The objective of the common installer, which with z/OS V2.2 is now built into the operating system, is to help clients easily configure their software environments and to form a foundation from which IBM and other software vendors can provide further installation improvements.
There are three key challenges that the current system presents that the common installer aims to address:
- Ease of use – The common Installer is designed to be intuitive for developers and administrators without zOS experience.
- Complexity – The common installer is a move toward making software installation on z/OS a step closer to the intuitive nature of consumer products installation.
- Completion – Traditional installers often leave much to be desired in terms of the state of completion, or what still needs to be done after exiting the installer. The complexity and skill set required can be greatly reduced by introducing installers that deliver a more advanced state of completion.
IBM and the rest of the industry’s z/OS platform software vendors are key partners in extending the value of the mainframe for modern business use. The excitement we and our partners have built for convergence on a single installer highlights the well-recognized need to deliver improved simplicity and more agility to companies with mainframe environments.
“In today’s digital age, where data is exploding and mobile is increasing enterprise transaction workload, the mainframe has remained relevant as the backbone of digital business. The modern mainframe is uniquely suited for today’s highly transactional, always-on digital world, mainly because of what’s at stake,” said Jonathan Adams, Vice President and General Manager, ZSolutions Optimization at BMC. “With increasing volumes of data and growing transaction loads, our customers continue to rely on mainframes for security, reliability and availability. BMC is joining IBM in its efforts to help optimize and improve the installation and deployment process for z/OS platform mainframes today and in the future.”
The common installer feature will be built into z/OS beginning 2Q 2017. For more about the specifics, read the announcement letter.
About the Author: Mark Anzani is VP of Strategy for IBM z Systems
He has the responsibility for driving long term business and product technical strategy, as well as enabling innovative client projects involving System z. He joined IBM in Poughkeepsie in 1983 and during his career has had positions in a variety of product development disciplines, primarily focused on IBM large systems. In January 2004, Mark was appointed Vice President, System z Hardware Products with the responsibility for the development and launch of the hardware products within the System z Portfolio. In January of 2007, Mark was appointed Vice President of System z Technical Support and in March of 2009 added the Chief Technology Officer responsibilities to his role. In July 2012 he was named to the Portfolio and Technical Strategy position.