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At CMG'09 a 'mainframe guy' talks SOA and private cloud

The Computer Measurement Group’s 35th annual CMG Conference is underway and cloud computing is front and center.

In his CMG’09 talk, “A Mainframe Guy Discovers SOA and Cloud Computing,” IBM Manager of IT Training Glenn Anderson looks at the next leap for mainframes now that SOA has become a reality. Anderson has been an IBM mainframe guy all his career. He said SOA with cloud computing is one of the biggest evolutions since the client-server model hit the scene.

“I think what’s more interesting to us mainframe guys is this notion of the private cloud,” said Anderson.
“Which means changing the internals of your IT organization to model the public cloud.”

Over the past few years, IT teams have been thinking more and more in terms of service orientation. But when it comes to the public cloud, most enterprises are concerned about the security risks of storing sensitive data in external, multi-tenant environments.

But since so many data centers are now service enabled, Anderson said, mirroring some of the principles of cloud computing is a next logical step for many. Anderson said mainframe shops could benefit from being able to quickly scale virtual system images up or down to deliver mainframes like a service.

“If a mainframe data center wants to be flexible and responsive to its business,” Anderson said, “you’ve got to be focused on delivering service to the business in a way that makes it easy and productive for the end users.”

Many mainframes today already are service enabled or working with a SOA stack of some kind. This, Anderson said, was the major re-architecting that had to happen to turn the data center into a private cloud environment. The next step is a matter of getting a bunch of machine images to live inside single partitions.

Having a number of virtual images sharing a common partition makes them easier to manage, Anderson said, and can be a more efficient use of space.

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