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Db2 for z/OS in the Cloud: What's Ahead

August 21, 2017

You've no doubt heard about cloud computing. But have you examined how Db2 for z/OS on the IBM mainframe fits with the cloud?

I'll share a number of resources in this post, but let's start with Wikipedia's definition:

Cloud computing is a form of Internet-based computing that provides shared computer processing resources and data to computers and other devices on demand. It is a model for enabling ubiquitous, on-demand access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., computer networks, servers, storage, applications and services), which can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort. Basically, Cloud computing allows the users and enterprises with various capabilities to store and process their data in either privately owned cloud, or on a third-party server in order to make data accessing mechanisms much more easy and reliable. Data centers that may be located far from the user–ranging in distance from across a city to across the world. Cloud computing relies on sharing of resources to achieve coherence and economy of scale, similar to a utility (like the electricity grid) over an electricity network.

Here's a summary of that listing's key points:

•    On-demand self-service: consumer can provision without requiring human interaction.
•    Broad network access: available over the network through standard mechanisms.
•    Resource pooling: providers resources are pooled to serve multiple customers.
•    Rapid elasticity: resources rapidly provisioned and released (without admin interaction).
•    Measured service: control and optimize resource use by leveraging metering capability at some level of abstraction appropriate for the service (e.g.,  wireless data plan, view/add/reduce capacity, etc.).

And here's a quick list of currently available Db2 for z/OS cloud-oriented solutions:

•    IBM DB2 Analytics Accelerator on Cloud
•    IBM Cloud Managed DevOps (RD&T on SoftLayer)
•    RESTful APIs to and from IBM z mainframe

I also recommend checking out this excellent IBM Redbooks publication, "IBM Cloud Provisioning and Management for z/OS: An Introduction."

So cloud is already a big part of what can be done with z/OS. In the near future, I can see developers being able to "spin up" (or remove) databases, tables, columns, indexes and other Db2 resources through a simple web portal that calls restful services. Tasks that have traditionally required days or weeks of effort will be started and completed within minutes.

The technology to do these things is actually in place today, though there's been no formal product announcement. But clearly, z/OS continues to become more flexible and adaptable, and cloud computing is playing its part.

Posted August 21, 2017 | Permalink

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