CA Technologies and IBM announced today at the Built to Change Summit they are combining their tools and platforms to bring DevOps process to mainframe environments.
The two companies are extending their existing relationship to include a partnership to jointly develop and sell new services for IBM’s Cloud Managed Services on z Systems (zCloud). Included in that effort is CA Brightside, a platform for bringing DevOps processes to mainframes using existing open source tools and frameworks such as Jenkins, Gradle and IntelliJ via a command line interface and CA Mainframe Resource Intelligence, a software-as-a-service (SaaS) application for monitoring consumption of mainframe resources.
Other managed services will be based on CA Service Virtualization software for rapidly testing and modifying applications in place; CA Mainframe Operational Intelligence to monitor applications; and CA Data Content Discovery to find, classify and protect data.
The services are available today to all IBM Managed Cloud Services for z Systems clients in North America and will then be rolled out globally throughout the rest of 2018.
Greg Lotko, general manager for mainframe at CA Technologies, said that although CA Technologies competes with IBM when it comes mainframe software, it has a vested interest in making sure mainframes stay relevant at a time when organizations are looking to replace less agile forms of application development that use waterfall and ITIL processes with DevOps methodologies that speed application development. From a practical perspective, end customers are demanding that CA Technologies and IBM work more closely together, he said.
Barry Becker, vice president of hybrid cloud services for IBM, added that as the line between mainframes and distributed applications continues to blur, it’s clear organizations want to be able to treat mainframes as back-end platforms that make a wide variety of enterprise data available to those applications. That need is driving many those organizations to extend DevOps processes to mainframes.
Historically, competition for control over application workloads within internal IT organizations between mainframe advocates and proponents of distributed computing has tended to be fierce. But Becker said that as digital business transformation gains traction, there’s now a greater appreciation for the need to leverage transaction processing and big data applications that are widely deployed on mainframes. Not only is it not practical to rewrite all those applications, he noted, applications running on mainframes are more secure. The creates the need to extend out to the mainframe the DevOps processes that are being used to build distributed applications, he said.
Zealotry that tends to focus on the merits of one platform above all others is usually counterproductive. The rise of DevOps presents organizations with an opportunity to bridge a divide within their organizations that, in some cases, is decades old. Of course, mainframe proponents are not likely to abandon waterfall and IT methodologies overnight. But DevOps processes can mainframe environments a lot more agile at a time when senior business and IT leaders are now judging the merits of one platform versus another increasingly on how flexible it allows the business to become.