Mainframe Blog

Mainframe Freedom of Choice

3 minute read
April Hickel

Mainframe optimization often comes down to giving organizations and teams the freedom to choose how they work to advance the platform while delivering new applications and services that delight their customers. There is no one-size-fits-all solution to mainframe management, application development, and security. Organizations need to be free to customize their processes and workflows to maximize the effectiveness and efficiency of their mainframe teams and give their employees the autonomy that fosters productivity and attracts new talent to the workforce.

This quarter’s enhancements to the BMC AMI and BMC AMI DevX portfolios expand freedom of choice for mainframe organizations and the professionals who comprise them while accelerating innovation, hardening security, and empowering resilience.

Git for the Mainframe

The use of Git for source code management (SCM) has been prevalent in distributed development for years, but mainframe development teams have been limited by a reliance on platform-specific SCMs. As applications increasingly span both mainframe and distributed systems, organizations are looking for more consistency in processes and tooling, as well as a centralized repository for all code.

BMC AMI DevX Code Pipeline integrations offer developers the unique ability to manage source code with Git, then leverage BMC AMI DevX Code Pipeline to build and deploy on the mainframe. More flexible than an all-or-nothing approach to Git implementation, the pairing of BMC AMI DevX Code Pipeline and Git enables organizations to choose, on an application-by-application or team-by-team basis, the processes and tools that best suit their needs. Mainframe-exclusive applications can use BMC AMI DevX Code Pipeline as their system of record, while hybrid applications can keep source code in one repository, managed with Git.

New feature branching sandboxes in BMC AMI DevX Code Pipeline increase productivity by providing developers with an isolated work environment in which they can make changes to code without affecting, or being affected by, other developers’ work. Seamless integration with Git means that developers can merge these changes back into the main codebase, then use BMC AMI DevX Code Pipeline to build and deploy on the mainframe with a simple right-click.

An Intuitive Interface for Operations

The face of mainframe operations is changing. The introduction of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) has enabled ops teams to be prepared for issues before they happen. Warned of a potential issue by analytics tools, users can consult monitoring tools to find and diagnose the root cause, reducing the mean time to detect and mean time to repair.

A new user interface in BMC AMI Ops further streamlines the process, bringing together early detection and actionable details in an improved user experience. AI-based detection, probable cause analysis, and system monitoring data are unified to give users a more complete view of potential service-impacting events and enabling faster response and remediation. Users can see issues through AI-based monitoring or through threshold violations with automated root cause workflows to resolve the problems – all within the same interface.

Zero Trust on the Mainframe

As the occurrence of cybersecurity events continues to increase, mainframe security cannot be managed as a separate entity. For true system security, organizations must apply the same standards, methods, and capabilities across the enterprise. As organizations have implemented Zero Trust security practices, however, many have failed to integrate the mainframe into enterprise security initiatives.

BMC has partnered with Illumio to provide the industry’s first Zero Trust solution for the mainframe. BMC AMI Enterprise Connector for Illumio solves challenges like data compatibility and network connectivity, to allow the mainframe to be fully integrated into Illumio’s Zero Trust framework. With the choice to manage all Zero Trust accounts from one solution, organizations can now apply common enterprise security practices to mainframe accounts.

Code Validation Shifts Left to Minimize Security Risks

BMC AMI DevX Workbench for Eclipse new integration with Veracode enables organizations to discover security risks in mainframe applications early in the development lifecycle. After editing and debugging in the Topaz Workbench IDE, developers can use a Veracode IDE Scan to identify vulnerabilities in the code. The Veracode integration allows developers to shift left and scan code for security defects early in the development lifecycle, where they are easier and less costly to fix.

Day One Support for IBM® DB2® 13 for z/OS

Alongside our quarterly release, BMC has also announced day-one support of the recently announced IBM® Db2® 13 for z/OS across our BMC AMI and BMC AMI DevX portfolios. Whether you immediately migrate to Db2 13 or continue using Db2 12 for the foreseeable future, you can rely on the continued excellence of our solutions and count on BMC to help make your migration seamless.

Better Together

The enhancements included in our April 2022 quarterly release help ensure that your organization employs the processes and tools that best suit your needs. From customized software development with Git and BMC AMI DevX Code Pipeline, to enhanced options for AI for IT Operations (AIOps) analytics and monitoring, to mainframe-inclusive enterprise security initiatives and seamless implementation of Db2 when you need it, BMC continues to partner with you to provide innovations that give you freedom of choice as you optimize and transform the mainframe.

Access the 2023 Mainframe Report

The results of the 18th annual BMC Mainframe Survey are in, and the state of the mainframe remains strong. Overall perception of the mainframe is positive, as is the outlook for future growth on the platform, with workloads growing and investment in new technologies and processes increasing.

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

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About the author

April Hickel

Vice President Intelligent Z Optimization and Transformation