32 posts • joined 18 Oct 2009
Pentagon makes case for Return of the JEDI: There's only one cloud biz that can do the job and it starts with an A (or rhymes with loft)
LzLabs kills Swisscom’s mainframes – but it's not the work of a vicious BOFH: All the apps are now living on cloud nine
Interesting. One of the advantages of CICS is its resource management, where an application can update a DB2 table, a VSAM file, an IMS segment, and then send an MQ message only to encounter a problem, abend, and all those updates never happened. LzLabs claim to be able to do the same.
There is much talk of load modules, no mention of program objects which is the format of any COBOL application recompiled with IBM Enterprise COBOL v5+. That may not matter, as the LzLabs seemingly has an emulation layer. I say seemingly because their product data sheets are not available to the hoi polloi.
Customers are, however, still stuck with one vendor, just as they were with their IBM Z. Also, I didn't see a mention of cost comparisons. I presume LzLabs is cheaper, at least for the honeymoon period, taking into account TCO and not just TCOWICAFE (Total Cost Of What I Can Account For Easily).
I wonder about SMF, which is useful for post-event analysis.
It seems like an awful lot of effort is being put into mitigation of a perceived problem: lack of mainframe skills. I think it's probably cheaper to just train the new staff, but that would make them skilled labor instead of fungible resources.
This move by Dropbox will reduce users' files to tiers: Rarely, regularly accessed data now kept separate
In the mainframe space, famous for its backward compatibility, IBM sells a COBOL compiler and has for the last half century or so. In ~1985, when IBM introduced their VS COBOL II compiler which implemented at least some of the 1985 standard, they broke some things that worked in their OS COBOL compiler which VS COBOL II replaced. Not necessarily everything that broke was standards-related, but still, VS COBOL II was a complete rewrite of the COBOL compiler from the ground up. It was kind of a big deal to migrate from one product to the next.
Over the next 30 years IBM continued to release new major and minor versions of their COBOL compiler under various names (COBOL/370, COBOL for MVS and VM, COBOL for OS/390 and VM, et. al.), implementing new features as they went. These products all had essentially the same "engine" powering source code parsing and object code generation. Upgrades were essentially a doddle.
Fast forward to the release of v5 of IBM Enterprise COBOL. This product breaks some things because it is a complete rewrite from the ground up. And customers are surprised to discover they have code that has relied on decades-old non-standards-conforming undocumented behavior which went away in the rewrite. It's kind of a big deal to migrate from versions prior to v5 to v5 or later.
That it only took Java ~20 years to reach a version/release that broke things is the surprise, what with time moving at the speed of the internet and all.
Apple: Trust us, we've patented parts of Swift, and thus chunks of other programming languages, for your own good
[W]e shouldn't necessarily assume something is irrelevant because it is old.
Lest we become magpie developers.
More succinctly, in the words of William Inge...
There are two kinds of fools: one says "This is old, therefore it is good"; the other says, "This is new, therefore it is better."
follow the (lack of desire to spend) money
Corporation X will not be willing to pay for the skills outlined in the article until a well-publicised breach occurs. Staff possessing those skills will then be acquired and kept until the next round of redundancies. Repeat until this is so commonplace it is no longer news.
It's cheaper to hire someone who shouts random quotes from a NIST manual.
Typical duties may include:
Briefing Members and staff about technology issues
Preparing for hearings or markups
Meeting with stakeholder groups and building coalitions
[the above is from the Fellowship's website]
People with a CompSci background might be okay at that first item, the rest seem to require skill sets antithetical to a CompSci background.
One possible translation
One possible translation of "we can't find those skills locally" is "none of the locals is willing to work for the crap wages we're willing to pay."
Research at the University of California - Davis showed this in the H1-B ramp-up to Y2K in the USA. Source: http://heather.cs.ucdavis.edu/h1b.html.
Yes, it's from 1998.
Capacity based pricing
The root problem is capacity based pricing. That, and the tug-of-war between vendors (including IBM) wanting to squeeze as much money out of their customers as possible and the customers wanting to pay £0,00 for software. But that's present in most markets.
Get rid of the abomination that is capacity based pricing and there is no need for specialty processors, z/Prime doesn't have a raison d'être, and everyone lives happily ever after in mainframe-land. Neon's obviously talented staff can write some other clever and useful product.
faith, et. al.
Ah, the cloud, a faith-based computing initiative. Have faith that the provider actually knows what they’re doing with respect to backup, security, redundancy, etc. Have faith that the provider won’t be purchased by another company in order to kill the service in favor of the acquirer’s – the one you deliberately didn’t choose for reasons of your own. Have faith that the provider is actually a responsible business – reputation in the Internet Age meaning having a corporate history that can be measured in months.
Me? I’m an atheist.
On the (forgive me) client side, the concept of degrading function gracefully will apparently have to be resurrected. Despite what your "mobile apps for dummies" book told you, memory isn't unlimited, persistent storage isn't unlimited, the network isn't always available, or as fast as you'd like, or as reliable as you'd like.
T-Mobile's compensatory offering of $100 (presumably that's USD) is interesting. Woefully inadequate, but interesting. Exactly how much is that industry insider's private number worth?