We are excited to release our first ever ‘State of the Mainframe’ report. This report, which came from our first survey of mainframe users conducted in the second half of 2017, we garnered great insight across 145 participants representing significant organizations both larger and small that leverage mainframe technology. The purpose of the study was to:
Provide insights into current users’ perceptions of mainframe technology in general, and Linux on the mainframe specifically
Gauge current and planned usage/consideration of mainframe technology in general, and Linux Linux on the mainframe specifically
Identify perceived gaps, barriers and myths/misperceptions around Linux on the mainframe specifically
Understand the impact of the cloud on mainframe and Linux usage
Some key insights from the whitepaper include:
Both users and non-users of Linux on Mainframe generally agree on Linux on Mainframe’s strengths of performance, security, and cost reduction.
The growth of Cloud Computing is perceived as an augment to mainframe, not as a replacement.
Mainframe will continue to have a key role in an ever hybrid computing world.
Growth of students interested in open source on mainframe has been impressive to say the least – each summer we’ve had more than a 100% increase in applicants for the summer internship program. This is a true testament to the market demand and modern relevance of open source on mainframe.
We are pleased to announce this summer’s internship class, along with the project mentors and projects they will be working on!
Editor’s Note: This blog post comes from Neale Ferguson of Open Mainframe Project member organization Sine Nomine Associates. He shared with the technical community that ClefOS, which is a Linux distribution for System z intended to fill the need for a royalty and license free operating system for appliance and utility system construction by anyone wishing to deploy applications on System z hardware, now has an official Docker image. In this post he describes what this means for ClefOS and how you can learn more.
ClefOS is now an Official Docker Image. But what does it mean to be an official image? According to the Docker organization:
“The Docker Official Repositories are a curated set of Docker repositories hosted on Docker Hub. They are designed to:
Provide essential base OS repositories (for example, ubuntu, centos) that serve as the starting point for the majority of users.
Provide drop-in solutions for popular programming language runtimes, data stores, and other services, similar to what a Platform-as-a-Service (PAAS) would offer.
Exemplify Dockerfile best practices and provide clear documentation to serve as a reference for other Dockerfile authors.
Ensure that security updates are applied in a timely manner. This is particularly important as many Official Repositories are some of the most popular on Docker Hub.
“New Docker users are encouraged to use the Official Repositories in their projects. These repositories have clear documentation, promote best practices, and are designed for the most common use cases.”
In addition, the images held in the official repository are scanned using Docker Cloud’s Security Scanning Service, the results of which, provide valuable vulnerability information.
So what this means is, if you are planning a project that involves the use or creation of Docker images then those that are based on an official image offer a high degree of confidence that the image you are using is what it says it is and contains no malware, backdoors, or trojans. In addition, it ensures that these images are regularly updated and well maintained.
Editor’s Note: This post comes from Anna Shugol, Blockchain IT specialist and zChampion from IBM Montpellier Client Center. Last fall, she lead a Blockchain hackathon where students used mainframe for building their applications. Open Mainframe Project sponsored this event, just as it sponsors internships and other education efforts on mainframe around the world.
Blockchain is a cutting edge technology and has all the potential to change the way how business is done across many industries. The spark that has initially ignited the enterprise world has gone way further.
It is interesting to watch how blockchain technology is being so rapidly adopted not only in the business sector, but also by emerging startups, IT developer communities and students. The latter bring new fresh ideas, solutions with a combination of different technologies and as a result – projects that have all the potential to revolutionize all industries.
IBM has been always supporting students and all IT developers and enthusiasts in their innovation discovery journey and what can be more fun than exploring emerging technologies through the hackathon? Considering this IBM Montpellier Blockchain Center of Competency and Open Mainframe Project have launched a Blockchain Hackathon for EPSI University in France.
During 5 days approximately 300 students from 9 cities in France were collaborating together under the guidance from worldwide IBM Blockchain specialists to design new creative solutions and projects. We were delighted to see students’ enthusiasm and innovative thinking – their projects were aimed to change the retail, healthcare and public industries.
IBM LinuxONE Community Cloud and Developer Journey (https://github.com/IBM/hyperledger-fabric-on-linux-one) provide an environment to accelerate solutions’ deployment. Anyone can sign up for free trial access to LinuxONE Community Cloud and follow the Developer Journey scenario to create their own solutions. The combination of open source technologies and LinuxONE -an enterprise Linux sever – allowed students to make the best out of this two worlds.
Open Mainframe Project and IBM decided to invite two winning teams to IBM Montpellier, where the students have spent the full day working with IBM Blockchain specialists, discovering how they can make their solutions even better, and also learnt about IBM Quantum Computing, Cloud and other fast paced technologies.
We hope that this is a start of a great collaboration between IT professionals and students and a foundation for a successful future.
Congratulations to the Blockchain Hackathon winners!
3 winning teams:
1st place (“AlphaBets”): Blockchain platform for keeping & managing online bets (football matches, games, poker etc); EPSI Montpellier
2nd place (CuraChain): Blockchain platform for keeping track of the medical procedures and patient history; EPSI Bordeaux
3rd place (“TrustMotor”): Blockchain platform for used car parts provenance. EPSI Grenoble
IBM Montpellier Blockchain Center of Competency would like to thank Jennifer Foley, Steve LaFalce, Eva Yan, John Mertic and Open Mainframe Project for their outstanding support.
Mainframes make an impact on each of us every day – whether we get paid, take a plane, use a bank, or even shop in a store. Increasingly open source software is a key piece of the stack powering these application – over 90% of mainframe user run Linux and a recent Open Mainframe Project survey found that over half of the workloads on mainframe are using open source components.
Are you looking to have your open source project support this architecture? The Open Mainframe Project is a great partner in helping you get the resources you need, such as:
Access to mainframe hardware for testing and continuous integration.
Connections with experts in mainframe for ideas on best practices and resources for supporting s390x code in your project.
Prominence with the top mainframe users worldwide to gain adoption of your project.
Updated 2018/01/14 with link to new community topic on project ideas.
Mainframe skills are in high demand, with the 10 top insurers, 44 of the top 50 banks, 18 of the top 25 retailers, and 90% of the largest airlines, using mainframe as the backbone for computing infrastructure according to IBM. Linux and open source are increasingly used more and more on mainframe; IBM estimates 90% of it’s customer base leverages Linux on mainframe, and a recent Open Mainframe Project survey found that over half of all workloads in these enterprises are ran by Linux on mainframe. This means that there are great opportunities for students looking at a future career in mainframe.
If you are a student reading this – we have a unique opportunity for you. Spend your summer using your open source and Linux skills, learning about and contributing to the future of mainframe in our annual summer internship program. This program pairs a student with a mentor from one of our great member companies, which results in a contribution to driving open source and Linux on mainframe. Past students have built Dockercontainers, created applications on HyperLedger, and even ported a new Linux distribution to mainframe!
Kevin Lee, one of our 2017 interns, shares his experience: “As an intern for the Open Mainframe Project by the Linux Foundation, I tested, improved, and created business networks on Hyperledger Fabric on the mainframe. From my internship at the Linux Foundation, I had the opportunity to not only experience blockchain systems in industry, but also become immersed in the process of developing and building a project from start to completion. As the pioneer and developer of IMMUNIchain during the internship, I worked closely with my mentors on brainstorming, coding, debugging, deploying, testing, and finally presenting my project at the conference. Members of my mentoring team, led by Vicom Infinity CTO Leonard J. Santalucia and IBM Transformation Leader Jin VanStee, were all specialized in different industries and helped to cri
tique and improve my project with their diverse perspectives. From my experience working with the Linux Foundation, I not only become more well-versed in reconciling the varying definitions of blockchain in academia and in industry, but I also gained valuable experience and built meaning relationships with my mentors.”
If this sounds interesting to you, you can apply for the program now – please note the application period closes February 16th, 2018. And look for our past interns in the community forums, and look in the coming weeks for more posts from them on their experiences.
Looking for help on putting together your project proposal or have a new idea on a project you would like to work on around mainframe and open source? Check out the new community forums topic where you can connect with former mentors and interns for help!
Bringing more students to innovate on the mainframe with Linux and open source has been the hallmark of the Open Mainframe Project, with 15 students participating in our internship programs to date. Building on that success, the Open Mainframe Project is bringing this program right into the classroom, taking part in a project with Virginia Commonwealth University’s Capstone Program.
The project will design and implement an easy-to-use service broker on the mainframe Linux environment. An Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) concept, the service broker is a framework component that allows application(s) to dynamically call micro-services, without code modification to the overall application framework. Sophisticated service/message brokers have been implemented in products such as MS-SQL and in IBM’s Websphere MQ, but are full product installs and are complicated to implement.
Phase I of this project will develop a simple service broker as a Docker container. It will have the ability to call micro services dynamically, without having to recreate the Docker container. Administrators will have the ability to upgrade new versions of a micro services and restore a previous version dynamically as the application runs in real time. New micro services can also be added as the application in real time.
Phase II of the project will be to add a Docker container to act as a service message bus. This part of the project will allow the service broker to send messages/parameters to micro services listening on the service bus. The concept is that the same micro services can have multiple instances listening on the service bus that would enable workload balancing. Micro services that are taken down or not responding to messages for them on the service bus, will have their transactions stored until the service comes back up.
The goal is to implement generic SOA (Service Oriented Architecture) Docker container components that can be used to build applications that are flexible and resilient, with minimal configuration. End goal is to begin building a library of usable Docker SOA components to increase application development productivity.
All of this work will be available as open source. You can check out the code and follow the progress these students are making on GitHub: