Demystifying Cloud - Mainframe Manager's view on the cloud

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After more than 50 years, mainframes still run the core business functions of 70% of the Fortune 500, including 96% of the world’s top 100 banks and 90% of the largest insurance organizations. The mainframe has always been built for performance & speed, high availability through redundancy, and ease of resource management. Today’s mainframes have evolved to provide support for virtualization, clustering, cutting-edge encryption of data in-transit and at-rest, analytics, and even the needs of mobile-based transactions.

With the emergence of the cloud, enterprises are faced with decisions about what to do with their mainframe infrastructures — dump them, grow them, re-purpose them? Some of the concerns related to mainframes include: a dwindling pool of skilled personnel, difficulty in developing & delivering MF-based apps, high capex, and a high maintenance burden. However, in a recent global survey of CIOs, 88% expect their MFs to continue to be a key business asset over the next decade, and 81% reported that their MFs continue to evolve — running new & different workloads.

Given the fact, therefore, that MFs are here to stay, today’s CIOs should be exploring hybrid* solutions that give them the best of both worlds: keeping large-scale transaction processing for mission-critical applications on their MFs, while migrating other workloads (such as backup and DR) to the cloud in order to benefit from cloud economics — with strong orchestration platforms to keep everything secure and seamless.