Monday, September 25, 2006

Mainframe information

Trevor Eddolls So where do you get information about mainframes from? Well, obviously, there’s IBM, and there’s third-party vendors of hardware and software like CA, BMC, and lots of others. But where do you go if you want unbiased information? Well you could join a user group, but you’d have to wait for the next meeting. Or you could search on Google – or another search engine – but you never really know how reliable the information is. Sometimes pages have sat there unchanged since 1998 – and the world of computing has moved on a bit since then!! One option is to download The Arcati Mainframe Yearbook 2006. It’s a fairly large PDF file (5.8MB – maybe these days not such a giant file) and is available from http://www.arcati.com/yearbook.html. It is also possible to order a printed copy. The Yearbook describes itself as an independent annual guide for users of IBM mainframe systems, and is 124 pages in size. The Yearbook contains some well-written articles and lists of information. For example there are articles entitled, “Software compliance and the mainframe”, “Consolidation and integration in the zSeries environment”, “Event-driven automation: why real-time matters”, “The mainframe market: zIIP and the ‘baby’ z9”, “Linux and z/OS, side by side on Itanium 2”, “Optimizing DB2: get the distribution straight”, “The next generation of Adabas and Natural”, “Taking advantage of the second-user alternative”, and “The main idea: monitor mainframes too”. There are also some interesting quotes about mainframes including this one from a user: “The current IT budget is roughly 5 times what it was five years ago, only a small fraction of which is spent on the bread and butter mainframe system doing almost all the work”. The Yearbook contains the results from a survey of 92 mainframe users, and analyses their profiles, plans, and priorities. A large part of the Yearbook is taken up with a Vendor directory, a media guide for IBM mainframers, a glossary of terminology, and hardware tables. There’s also a timeline showing hardware and software development. I’m told that there will be a 2007 version of the Yearbook very early next year. I just thought I’d draw your attention to the Arcati Yearbook because it is full of useful and reliable information, you can get hold of it straight away, and it’s available at a price you can afford (ie free!).

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