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New job for mainframes: Cloud platform

Tam Harbert | March 31, 2011
Mainframes are stable, secure and under your control -- perfect for anchoring a private cloud -- but where's the user provisioning?


zEnterprise seeds the cloud?

Along with several concurrent developments, zEnterprise, could make the mainframe into a true cloud platform, says Susan Eustis, president of WinterGreen Research in Lexington, Mass. Just in the past several months, she says, IBM has improved Websphere, improved z/VM and adjusted its pricing structure -- all moves to make the mainframe more cloud-friendly, she says. Eustis thinks that IBM now has all the pieces in place to enable business units to self-provision a mainframe-based cloud.

At the very least, zEnterprise could change the traditional thinking about mainframes. "I think you'll start seeing the mainframe viewed in a different way," says Hurwitz. As mainframes begin to run more of the same software as other high-end servers and gain expanded service management capabilities, "people are going to see it as the high end of the server market as opposed to a world unto itself."


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