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Join Open Mainframe Project at Open Fintech Forum on Oct 10-11!

By | Blog

Written by Len Santalucia, Chair of the Open Mainframe Project Governing Board and CTO of Vicom Infinity

The Open Mainframe Project will be at The Linux Foundation’s first-ever Open FinTech Forum on October 10-11 in New York to shed light on the modern mainframe.

The modern mainframe is touted as the core of trusted digital experiences and operates in some of the largest and most demanding computing environments in the world. From the days of the System/360 in the mid 1960’s through to the modern mainframe of the z14 the systems have been designed along four guiding principles of security, availability, performance and scalability.

On October 11 at 11:30 am, John Mertic, Director of ODPi, and Goran Begic, Sr. Director of Product Management at CA Technologies, will present a session titled, “Connecting Modern Application Developments to the Mainframe with Zowe.” Attendees will learn about Open Mainframe Project, details about the newly launched Zowe and showcase how attendees can get involved in this new open source project based on z/OS.

Additionally, several Open Mainframe Project members will participate in a panel discussion titled, “The Resurgence of Mainframe in Modern Industry: insights from key executives on the future of this cornerstone technology.”

In this panel session, you’ll hear perspectives of key executives in the mainframe space on the current and future of the mainframe, as well as how open source technology is driving growth and cementing mainframe as a sustainable infrastructure choice for decades to come.

I will be moderating the panel and Alan Clark from SUSE, Steve Conger from ADP, Calista Redmond from IBM and Andy Youniss from Rocket Software will join me.

Here’s a little preview of what to expect from the panel.

“We’ve got a great set of perspectives on the constant evolution of the mainframe. Let’s talk future-proofing and modernizing a highly secure enterprise infrastructure, with an open and collaborative approach.” – Calista Redmond

“We are building the next generation of mainframe leaders by lowering barriers and making the platform accessible to everyone. Zowe was created in response to customer demand – users have been asking for open source for many years to help them overcome the skills gap and extend the value of their mainframe infrastructures. We are all on a journey together as a community to make this a reality.” – Andy Youniss

Learn more about these sessions: https://www.openmainframeproject.org/event/open-fintech-forum-new-york

I am a Mainframer

By | Blog, I Am A Mainframer

By Steven Dickens, Open Mainframe Project Marketing Committee Chair and IBM Global Sales Leader

What does it mean to declare you are a fan of a particular technology? Are you a casual user who kind of thinks the technology is cool, or does it have to be more than that? Do you need to be a developer or a super user? Can a new user declare a passing interest and still self-declare they are a fan?

Regardless of where you fall on this scale, the “I am a Mainframer” podcast series from the Open Mainframe Project has something for you. This newly rebooted podcast series hopes to be an informal entry point for the first time user of the mainframe, right through to providing insight to the 30-year technology veteran.

In this podcast series, I hope to provoke, stimulate and actively encourage the guest to share what brought them to the mainframe platform and get under the covers of how their careers have developed. I then plan to dig into what they are working on and the hot project that is driving their mainframe passion here and now. Finally, in every episode I will encourage the guest to look up from the daily grindstone and look ahead to what they see on the horizon.

Along the way, we will hopefully share some fun anecdotes and stories that will provide the much need color in this world of overtly polished marketing podcasts… rest assured in this podcast series we will be heavy on the fun and insights and light on the marketing fluff!

So please look to join me every month as we look to get a view into the careers of those who are shaping the mainframe technology space and more widely the enterprise and mission computing worlds. You can make sure you never miss an episode of this podcast series by subscribing here. If you want to be a future guest of the show, please send an email to Maemalynn@linuxfoundation.org.

Anomaly Detection Engine Update – Esopus Creek

By | Blog

Esopus Creek is a 65-mile tributary of the Hudson river and like its namesake the first update release of the IBM contributed Anomaly Detection Engine for Linux Logs is now flowing into the wider open source community if you excuse the pun.

In this blog James Caffrey the maintainer for the project provides an update on the progress of the code base. However, first to set the scene, Anomaly Detection Engine (ADE) was a code base around detecting anomalies in Linux logs, contributed by IBM via the Open Mainframe Project into the open source community back at the beginning of the year.

The new delivery of ADE Esopus Creek has four upgrades contributed by the community:

  • support for MariaDB(tm)
  • verify command – is there sufficient information to create a model
  • fixes to additional SonarQube(tm) issues
  • wiki topics
    • example of how to tailor the output of ADE
    • how to contribute to ADE

MariaDB(tm) support

ADE now supports MariaDB.  The Esopus Creek version has been updated to account for the SQL differences between Derby and MariaDB.

Why was the verify command added

To understand why the verify command is important, the way that ADE detects unusual time slices and messages needs to be explained:

ADE assumes that production Linux systems follow a predictable pattern and that differences between from the expected behavior is unusual. ADE is able to detect unusual time slices and unusual messages in Linux logs by comparing the Linux logs for the time periods of interest with the expected behavior of Linux logs.    When the ADE command train runs, it builds a model of the expected behavior which is used during analyze to check the behavior of that time period. Train and analyze uses statistical learning to find what is unusual.

For the statistical learning algorithms to generate helpful results, they need sufficient information to build a valid model.  The verify command checks to see if there is sufficient information available to create a valid model before the model is created.  The java class VerifyLinuxTraining invoked by verify checks if the number of unique message ids is sufficient for the number of intervals included in the training period.  The algorithm is designed to handle both high and low message traffic volume Linux systems.

The verify command, the java class, and the data science have been added to https://github.com/openmainframeproject/ade.

How to tailor the output of ADE

For each interval and message analyzed by ADE, ADE creates xml that is written to a file.  ADE also provides xslt files that convert the results into html so that the ADE results can be viewed with a standard web browser.  It writes the xslt files to the appropriate places, so that all you need to do to look at the results is point your browser to the file of interest. The ADE wiki now contains examples of how to change the xslt to:

  • sort by column values
  • change the order the columns and remove columns which might not be useful

The xslt files are shipped as part of ADE and can be tailored to meet your needs.  See https://github.com/openmainframeproject/ade/wiki/Hints-on-how-to-update-XSLT  for details. For more details on how the files are stored on disk, so you can find the one you want see http://openmainframeproject.github.io/ade/.

The next delivery of ADE – Poesten Kill will focus on reducing the cost of adding new analytics to ADE.  Look for ADE on Slack at #anomaly-detection and follow the OpenMainframe project @OpenMFProject on Twitter for announcements about ADE.

Announcing the Open Mainframe Project interns for Summer 2016

By | Blog

The Open Mainframe Project is pleased to announce the 7 students that have been selected to become interns for the summer of 2016.  Drawn from 4 different countries the 7 interns represent a global cross section of the academic community that engages with the mainframe and Linux operating systems that it runs.

We are pleased to announce the Open Mainframe Project interns for Summer 2016

  • Allen NG – University of Buffalo
  • Laszlo Szoboszlai – U of Bedfordshire
  • Tuan M. HOANG – Hanoi University of Science and Technology (SoICT-HUST)
  • Matthew Franklin Bent – ECU
  • Sebastian Wind – University of Leipzig
  • Robert Edward Starr – ECU
  • Jovanka Gulicoska – FON University

These students will be working over the summer months on areas such as Docker, Blockchain, and Linux Monitoring tools. For those interns based in the US, they will also be attending SHARE in Atlanta, North America’s premier mainframe user group conference.  Those students based in Europe and Asia are looking to be a part of Guide Share Europe event which is Europe’s premier mainframe focused user conference in the UK this fall. The students will have access to mentors from across industry, with members such as IBM and CA providing top engineers to help work closely with the students. As the undertake their coding assignments.

Check back here for updates throughout the internship program for the progress made by the interns and as the program comes to a close a full write up on the summer 2016 program.

Open Mainframe Project Announces New Membership Investments as it Hones Technical Focus for Advancing Linux on Mainframe

By | Press

DataKinetics, East Carolina University, Hitachi Data Systems and Sine Nomine Associates to contribute to project; technical areas of focus and new internship program accelerate development

LAS VEGAS, IBM Interconnect 2016, February 23, 2016 – The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, today announced an expansion of its Open Mainframe Project that will further collaboration among industry and academic partners and create areas of focus for advancing Linux on the mainframe for the benefit of the community and industry.

Launched just six months ago, the Open Mainframe Project is adding four new members, including DataKinetics, East Carolina University, Hitachi Data Systems and Sine Nomine Associates. These new investments signal the importance of this technical and market collaboration as Linux on the mainframe continues to grow. The Open Mainframe Project is also announcing areas of technical focus as determined by its Technical Steering Committee (TSC) – JIT for OpenJDK, Docker support, Blockchain and Linux monitoring tools – and a new internship program in which students will work with industry professionals to complete real-world projects for Linux on the mainframe.

“Linux continues to be embraced by more mainframe organizations than any other platform because of the flexibility it provides,” said Len Santalucia, chairperson of the Open Mainframe Project Governing Board. “The newest investments in the Open Mainframe Project demonstrate the importance of this work, as does the commitment to specific areas of technical focus and a formal internship program that can speed innovation and bring to bear new ways to take advantage of this powerful technology.”

Growth in Members Expands an Already Diverse Set of Organizations

DataKinetics is the global leader in data performance and optimization solutions. The company optimizes data throughput and processing speeds for the world’s largest banks, credit card, brokerage, insurance, healthcare, retail and telecommunication organizations.

“We’ve spent the past 38 years working with our Fortune 500 customers to solve business and IT challenges. As such, we understand the unique challenges and critical need for scalable solutions,” said Allan Zander, chief executive officer, DataKinetics. “As a proud member of the Open Mainframe Project, we’re eager to collaborate and contribute to the future technologies that further enhance the value of the mainframe to the industry.”

East Carolina University (ECU) is a national research university enrolling more than 27,000 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students. Within the College of Engineering and Technology at ECU, programs in information and computer technology and computer science have offered mainframe curriculum components and even complete mainframe courses since 2012.

“ECU will continue to grow our mainframe curriculum as it is consistent with the strategic goals of the College of Engineering and Technology, as well as ECU. Moreover, ECU believes mainframe skills provide our students with an excellent opportunity to obtain career positions with established companies,” said Joel Sweatte, Director of IT and adjunct faculty member for the College of Engineering and Technology. “ECU perceives the Open Mainframe Project as an excellent vehicle to meld our already extensive Linux curriculum with the growing mainframe curriculum. North Carolina, the university, and our students benefit from our participation in the Open Mainframe Project.”

Hitachi Data Systems, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi Ltd, that provides modular mid-range and high-end storage systems, software and services. “Hitachi Data Systems is happy to join forces with IBM and others in the Open Mainframe Project to expand the ecosystem around Linux and open source software on the mainframe,” said Roberto Basilio, VP Product Management at Hitachi Data Systems. “Joining the Open Mainframe Project gives Hitachi a chance to lend its expertise in mainframe, storage, real-time automation, cloud-standards and software-defined infrastructure to this growing community and adds to our extensive open standards project participation.”

Sine Nomine Associates is an IT research and custom development engineering firm that transforms emerging technology into practical business solutions. “The Open Mainframe Project is an important innovation as it provides a focal point for the long-term planning, deployment and exploitation of Linux on the mainframe,” said Neale Ferguson, Engineer at Sine Nomine Associates. “Linux on the mainframe has come a long way since it was released as patches in 1999. It has evolved from an adjunct to an organization’s IT environment to being front-and-centre. Now is the time to build on the momentum and ensure and coordinate the growth of this technology.”

Organizations involved in mainframe computing and Linux can learn more about membership opportunities at: https://www.openmainframeproject.org/about/members

Technical Initiatives Defined for Platform Growth

The Open Mainframe Project’s TSC is announcing its focus areas in 2016, which emphasize compatibility and support for rapidly growing technologies.

  • JIT for OpenJDK. This work will focus on adding JIT support to the z port of OpenJDK, enabling a variety of up-stack open source projects that inherently depend on OpenJDK.
  • Docker support. This effort will look at accelerating the Docker ecosystem on the mainframe. It will also leverage key mainframe know-how to enhance Docker for highly-available virtualized systems.
  • Blockchain support, which will focus on performance of and enhancements to the Hyperledger Project and target Linux on the mainframe.
  • Assessment and certification of popular Linux monitoring tools on Linux on the mainframe.
  • Acceptance of the Anomaly detection engine for Linux logs, a contribution originally from IBM. The code is available today at Github: https://github.com/openmainframeproject/ade.

Developers and mainframe enthusiasts can learn more about how to get involved with these efforts at: https://wiki.linuxfoundation.org/openmainframeproject/tsc/projectplanning

Internship Program Launched to Grow Student Engagement

The Open Mainframe Project is also announcing a new internship program, which will both grow student contribution and advance the efforts to lower the barrier to entry for Linux on the mainframe.

Students will be paired with mentors who are professionals in the mainframe space and work with them to complete a project over a 10-week period. At the end of the internship, students will participate at a leading mainframe conference to showcase the work they’ve done, putting them in front of potential employers in the industry.

The Open Mainframe Project will accept eight interns through this program. The deadline for submissions is March 25, 2016. Interested students can learn more on how to apply at the following link: https://wiki.linuxfoundation.org/openmainframeproject/internprogram.

About the Open Mainframe Project

The Open Mainframe Project provides a neutral home for community meetings, events and collaborative development for Linux on the mainframe and involves key academic institutions in order to increase the future talent pool of mainframe practitioners and technical experts. The Open Mainframe Project identifies ways to leverage new software and tools in the Linux environment that are ideal for taking advantage of the mainframe’s speed, security, scalability and availability; seeks to significantly broaden the set of tools and resources that are intended to drive development and collaboration of mainframe Linux; and aims to coordinate mainframe improvements to upstream projects to increase the quality of these code submissions and ease upstream collaboration. For more information, please visit: https://www.openmainframeproject.org/.

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Media Contact
Jennifer Cloer
The Linux Foundation
503-867-2304
jennifer@linuxfoundation.org