SHARE in Atlanta last week was an excellent event. Not only did I catch some great keynotes and many other valuable sessions, not only did I get to be with hundreds of my friends and favourite mainframers including many of the key players in the mainframe ecosystem, but I had the opportunity to see some of the many ways that the mainframe continues to be the most technologically-advanced business computing platform around.
But before I dig into the details, a couple of other notes, beginning with thanks for the comments on last week's blog post from my friend Marcel den Hartog (zMarcel) in the Netherlands and from my colleague Jerry Seefeldt with whom I attended a great session/discussion about local mainframe user groups at SHARE. It's inspiring to see the growing interest in local mainframe user groups, and I'm looking forward to seeing how they connect up and what role SHARE is able to play in it.
The other thing I wanted to mention is that I met with my friends and colleagues from key mainframe publications at SHARE, including MainframeZone and the associated magazines z/Journal and Mainframe Executive, and IBM Systems Magazine (mainframe edition). I'm looking forward to continuing to publish articles and such with all three. And, I'd like to take the opportunity to refer you to the video series "Big Iron: The Mainframe Story (so far...)" which I worked on with the folks at CA Technologies, IBM Systems Magazine and various mainframe luminaries to produce. It's a great way to get more familiar with the mainframe.
Once you've seen those videos, you're ready to find out about just how leading edge today's mainframe is. I certainly was as I roamed the Technology Exchange Expo floor, and I was impressed with what I saw.
As always, IBM had the biggest booth, and in addition to having an actual mainframe running on the floor, they had other techology and plenty of people and stations to tell the world about all the great things happening on the mainframe that are keeping it at the forefront of high-end business computing, including Linux-on-z/VM cloud computing. One of IBM's biggest emphases was on their Smarter Planet initiatives.
Fortunately, the mainframe is much more than just IBM: it's an ecosystem with many technology vendors and the largest organizations on earth as the customers. So, each vendor had one or more (sometimes many more) things to show the world about how they're making the mainframe better all the time.
Many of the products are about enabling the mainframers of today and tomorrow to be more effective, including CA Technologies' role-based CA Mainframe Chorus workspace, and Chicago-Soft's Application Knowledge Capture™ service to retain valuable understanding from imminent retirees.
Of course, forming and educating a new generation of mainframers is a key focus, so Interskill was there, and CA Technologies announced scholarships for their Mainframe Academy.
There were also solutions for bringing greater end-to-end integration and functionality between the mainframe and the rest of the computing world, such as the Mainframe Event Acqusition System™ (MEAS™) which provides integration of real-time mainframe event information with McAfee's Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) platforms.
One company, UNICOM® Global, even had their Founder, President & CEO Corry Hong at their booth, and giving presentations, in order to introduce everyone to all the solutions - both established and new - that they're involved with.
In addition to the content on the exhibit flor, there were also various other news and articles in the SHAREnews Dailies. And there were many discussions, including a focus group about "Big Data."
Of the many interesting sessions one of my favourites was Cheryl Watson's Hot Flashes, which has many of the latest and greatest tidbits about how to make mainframes run even better.
After a week at SHARE, it's clear that the mainframe is constantly staying ahead with world-class functionality and all the most modern technology to respond to the business needs of the largest organizations on earth, today and for the foreseeable future.
And SHARE is the place where it all connects.
Next blog post, I plan to share some interesting thoughts and insights from the various sessions and discussions I enjoyed at SHARE.