IBM Introduces z/OS App Development and Testing in its Public Cloud Environment

In this fast-paced world, in order for a business to grow and generate profit, it has to be flexible and embrace any changes that come their way. So, whether you own a startup or a global enterprise, in order to cater to client needs, organisations must become more flexible and agile, while prioritising privacy and security, to deliver around-the-clock secured digital services and address compliance demands. With that said, IBM intends to help you re-imagine the world of digitalization by offering IBM Cloud — an open-source cloud-based mainframe — as a commercial service for z/OS app development and testing in the second half of 2022.

Wazi as-a-Service (Wazi aaS) | Enhancing Developer Efficiency

Wazi aaS will incorporate IBM Z technology to allow customers to easily develop and test mainframe applications as a service in the public IBM Cloud environment. Wazi as-a-Service will essentially utilise the IBM Cloud’s virtual private cloud infrastructure to deliver an open-for-all z/OS-based virtual server.

According to claims by IBM, it will take a user less than six minutes to access the z/OS app development and testing server. Not only this, but compared to the x86 development and testing alternatives in cloud data centres, the Wazi aaS can perform up to 15 times faster. Vice President of IBM Z Hybrid Cloud, Tarun Chopra, has said that when it comes to modernization and technology, there isn’t any one-size-fits-all approach. Therefore, the purpose behind leveraging both the IBM Cloud and IBM Z is to provide clients with a cloud platform that will help them to capitalise on technical advancements, innovations, resilience, and security. As a public platform, Wazi aaS aims to:

  • Standardise IT automation: Allowing access to open-source environments such as Kubernetes.
  • Leverage agile enterprise devOps for cloud-native development: By introducing rapid application analysis and open tools.
  • Simplify access to data and application: By ensuring secure API creation and integration.

A Modern Solution

Owing to their reputation for reliability and security, mainframes are used in retail, insurance, and banking because of their capacity to process large numbers of transactions efficiently. Based on the data from the BMC survey, 92% of the 1300 mainframe technicians and participants claimed that they saw the mainframe as a platform for long-term development and running new and complex workloads. However, for workloads to run efficiently, the standardised mainframe design and features had to change.

For more than 50 years, mainframe architecture was created to be rigid. However, with the evolution of mainframes, machines have begun to embrace Linux as the core operating system, have learned to interact with public cloud resources, and containerized workloads built using tools like RedHat’s OpenShift and Docker.

The latest phase in IBM’s cloud-friendly plan will allow developers to write mainframe code and test it in a compact and simple, pay-as-you-go environment without wasting any essential resources of the physical mainframe. The Wazi Image Builder generates virtual server instances, which can either be pre-configured with a software or entirely customised to meet the needs of particular businesses.

The Verdict

A single Personal Edition Licence for z/OS development and testing can cost $5,000 or more. Pertinent to mention, however, is that even though the Wazi aaS will enable programmers to develop and run mainframe applications on x86 servers and PCs including public cloud servers from Microsoft and AWS, the system cannot be used to run production workloads, pre-production testing, production module builds, stress testing, or performance testing.