Mainframe Blog

IBM® z16®: The Evolution Continues

2 minute read
Alan Warhurst

It’s fair to say that the mainframe has aged much better than Stewart Alsop’s 1991 prediction that, “the last mainframe will be unplugged on 15 March 1996.” Almost three decades past its predicted demise, the platform is, in fact, the backbone of the modern digital economy.

Looking at the history of the mainframe, one can find several reasons for its longevity, including transactional capability, reliability, and security. But while some may look at the platform as a holdover from the past, the opposite is true—adaptability is a major reason for the mainframe’s long-term success.

A platform that once relied on punch cards and magnetic tape to do batch processing evolved during the 1960s and ’70s to one that supported real-time processing from multiple interfaces, like the IBM® 3270 “green screen.” In the past 30 years, the increased prevalence of web and mobile transactions has meant a greater reliance on the mainframe’s processing power for real-time and batch processing. Accordingly, the mainframe has become less siloed, integrating with more applications and platforms than ever before, giving rise to hybrid IT environments and more user-friendly graphical interfaces.

That long history of adaptability continues today. With the new IBM® z16®, IBM has yet again captured the zeitgeist of modern computing. In bringing the power of its recently developed Telum processor to the system that has sustained enterprise computing for more than 50 years, it has in one stroke delivered what many Autonomous Digital Enterprises (ADEs) need, artificial intelligence (AI) where the data is (don’t forget, 75 percent of large mainframe shops host more than 50 percent of their data on the platform).

As advocates of the mainframe and the value it delivers for over 40 years, BMC has its own history of innovation on the platform. From consistently releasing enhancements to our BMC AMI and BMC Compuware portfolios to tracking and analyzing industry trends, we can help your organization react quickly to shifting market conditions and make change your competitive advantage.

We have also helped customers leverage the value of AI to make decisions at the speed of business and truly deliver a Transcendent Customer Experience to their own customers and employees. The promise of the most securable and scalable platform combined with the power of AI truly excites us.

With all the work that IBM has done to continue to evolve the IBM Z platform and the work of partners in the ecosystem, such as BMC, to ensure it is included in the wider enterprise computing ecosystem, the mainframe continues to adapt and evolve, making it the system of record for the past, the present, and the future.

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These postings are my own and do not necessarily represent BMC's position, strategies, or opinion.

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About the author

Alan Warhurst

Alan Warhurst has been in the IT industry for 20 years and at BMC since 2014. He is currently a Senior Manager Product Management in the ZSO organization responsible for the Storage Management products as well as future strategy and direction. He also has special responsibility for the Mainframe Executive Council and BMC's Annual Mainframe Survey.

Alan previously spent many years working in the logistics industry in a variety of roles, including System’s Programmer, Data Center Manager, Head of Application Platform Support and Infrastructure Architect.