Jiving with Java 2: BFF Java and the Mainframe

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The BMC 2016 Annual Mainframe Research of over 1200 mainframe professionals revealed that fifty percent of respondents are running Java on the mainframe in production, and two-thirds of those running Java indicated its use has grown over the past two years (read my previous blog). So what is driving organizations to turn to a “modern” technology on the mainframe platform?

Disruption Powers Change

Much of the impetus is coming from the disruption of digital business.  Businesses want to be closer to their customers and in a personalized way.  They need to be available (24 x 7) on the channels their customers use all the time – smart phones, wearables, tablets, and social channels. Find out if your organization is a digital business – check out your digital state. Digital engagement is far reaching and is fueled by these key drivers:

  1. Respond to business faster
  2. Mobility
  3. Modernize applications
  4. Reduce mainframe costs
  5. Optimize mainframe skills
  6. Support customers flawlessly (“always on” availability, “instantaneous” problem response)

And the impact on IT is profound – the rate of change, complexity, volume, unpredictability and level of service associated with digital business activities are increasing the expectations of IT as never before.  The combination of digital disruption, intense cost pressures and technical skills gaps present unprecedented challenges. Does IT have the right set of tools to effectively manage this new world of always available, always fast? Will IT have visibility into Java and its impact on existing workloads across the mainframe?  You can read more about the impact of digital engagement on mainframes in this white paper.

Digital Business Called – Java on z Answered

Java on z is enabling IT to meet the demands of digital business in the following ways:

  1. Improved business agility – respond faster
  2. Updated applications
  3. Reduced costs (less costly/more plentiful programmers + reduced CPU cost)
  4. Optimized skills
  5. Improved platform agility – platform neutrality.

The reasons cited for Java’s adoption are shown below and they correlate with Java’s support of digital engagement on mainframes:

  • Technical capabilities of the Java language and its interoperability support mobility.
  • The availability of Java programmers addresses mainframe programming skills concerns.
  • Application modernization is facilitated by Java’s interoperability with existing core mainframe technologies including CICS, DB2, IMS, etc.
  • Java runs on cheaper engines, and coupled with budget friendly programming, lowers mainframe costs.

jiving-java-2Reasons for adopting Java on z.  (Source: BMC 2016 Annual Mainframe Research)

If Java Is the Answer, What Questions Does it Raise for Systems Management?

One of IT’s digital challenges is the ever-increasing level of expectations for availability and performance – “always on” availability, “instantaneous” response.  Java provides performance benefits but does not run like other mainframe technologies. There are performance and availability risks, which IT will need to factor into their Java on z plans – the subject of my next blog in this series Jiving with Java 3:  Full Disclosure!

11th Annual Mainframe Survey Results


The 11th Annual Mainframe Survey explores the continued importance of the mainframe in companies of all types as a key platform for digital business.

Download Now ›

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Jay Lipovich

Jay Lipovich

G. Jay Lipovich is a Principal Product Manager for mainframe systems management and cost optimization at BMC Software. He has many years’ experience in the design and development of strategies and solutions for infrastructure and data management. This includes design strategy and performance evaluation for a mainframe hardware vendor; infrastructure performance consulting for industry and US government agencies; and design and development of strategies and solutions for infrastructure management solutions. He has published numerous articles in trade journals defining approaches to infrastructure performance management and cost optimization. Mr. Lipovich is ITIL Foundation and CDE certified.