BMC Software today announced it has formally completed its acquisition of Compuware as part of an expanded effort to modernize mainframe environments.
Bill Miller, president of ZSolutions at BMC, said now that the deal has been closed the combined companies will be able to more tightly integrate Compuware’s Topaz application development and deployment platform with the BMC Automated Mainframe Intelligence platform, as part of an Autonomous Digital Enterprise (ADE) initiative based on ongoing investments BMC is making in AIOps.
Chris O’Malley, CEO of Compuware, said that level of integration will, for example, make it easier to automate the deployment of database and provisioning of mainframe resources using tools from BMC within a set of DevOps processes optimized for mainframe environments.
The goal is to make the mainframe just one more target platform on which DevOps teams can build and deploy applications faster, added O’Malley. That’s becoming a bigger requirement in the wake of the economic downturn brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, he said, as organizations prioritize digital business transformation initiatives that will inevitably require updates to mainframe applications.
Rather than increasing technical debt by duplicating existing capabilities, O’Malley said more organizations will look to modernize mainframe applications to make them more accessible to a wide variety of front-end applications.
The rate at which IT organizations that deploy applications on mainframes have been adopting DevOps has been uneven at best. Mainframe applications are often considered to be among the most mission-critical in the enterprise. Therefore, IT teams have relied on waterfall processes to build and deploy mainframe applications in a more deliberate fashion.
At the same time, however, the use of Linux on mainframes has increased considerably in the last several years. The applications deployed on Linux operating systems on the mainframe frequently employ the same DevOps processes to deploy applications on Linux running on distributed computing systems.
BMC’s ambitions, of course, far exceed the mainframe. The company has a portfolio of tools for managing both distributed computing and mainframe platforms. During the economic downturn, BMC is betting many IT teams will be under increased pressure to reduce the total cost of IT by centralizing the management of mainframes and distributed computing systems, among other moves.
Of course, BMC is not the only IT vendor with similar ambitions. IBM and Broadcom, which acquired CA Technologies, are moving down a similar path. IT organizations will need to determine which providers enable them to best streamline management processes.
In the meantime, it remains to be seen how much organizations remain committed to the mainframe. It’s generally not feasible for most organizations to move a transaction processing application running on zOS into the cloud. However, it doesn’t necessarily follow that those IT organizations will continue to invest in building and deploying new applications on mainframes instead of making them more accessible via application programming interfaces (APIs).
Regardless of the strategy adopted, however, it is not likely that after being around for more than 50 years, mainframes will be disappearing anytime soon.