Mainframe and Midrange Migration according to Microsoft


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Mainframe and Midrange Migration according to Microsoft

  1. 1. Mainframe and Midrange Migration according to MicrosoftMainframe and Midrange MigrationImage via CrunchBaseI read an interesting article on the ITJungle website about Mainframe and Midrange Migration,Applications that continue to run on IBM i, AIX, Solaris, mainframe, and OpenVMS servers andMicrosoft is trying to convince users to migrate them to Windows based servers.I have re-published the article below.Microsoft Targets IBM i, z/OS Migrations With PMA ProgramPublished: November 26, 2012by Alex WoodieYou may recall that, several years back, Microsoft ran the Midrange Alliance Program (MAP)and Mainframe Modernization Alliance (MMA), two marketing and awareness campaignsfocused on moving applications and workloads off IBM‘s iSeries and mainframe servers. Whilethe MAP and MMA fizzled away, Microsoft has a new group called the Platform ModernizationAlliance (PMA) that is gaining attention with IBM partners and customers.It is not news that the so-called “distributed” Wintel and Lintel server platforms are dominant inthe IT industry. They have been for a while now; the war ended years ago. Consider thesenumbers:Out of the $12.5 billion spent on servers during the second quarter of 2012, Windows serversaccounted for about $6 billion, or 47.9 percent, of that total, according to IDC. Linux serversaccounted for another $2.8 billion, or 22.3 percent. Unix-based machines accounted for another$2.3 billion, or 18.4 percent of the worldwide server revenue pie. That leaves about $1.5 billion,or 11.9 percent, for the “other” server category, which is where IBM mainframes, IBM i servers,and assorted other proprietary systems fit in.When you cut the server revenue figures by processor architecture, non-X86 machines (acategory that includes mainframes, Power Systems servers, Oracle Sparc servers, and Itanium 1/4
  2. 2. servers) accounted for $3.9 billion in revenues, or 31 percent of the $12.5 billion during thesecond quarter.At the turn of the century, the Windows NT operating system wasn’t quite a joke, but few largecompanies were using it for critical business systems. Fast forward 12 years, and a lot haschanged. Microsoft has to be pleased with how the war turned out, although its systempartners–IBM, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Oracle, and the others–have to work harder today and getless profit out of the new distributed world than when mainframe, AS/400, and the RISC-basedarchitectures were pre-eminent in Fortune 1000 companies’ data centers.While Microsoft won the war and dominates the server racket with its Windows Server stack (interms of revenues as well as shipments), there is still the pesky mater of the 31 percent ofserver revenue going to holdouts, those applications that continue to run on IBM i, AIX, Solaris,mainframe, and OpenVMS servers. Some of these servers are running big workloads, andgetting them onto Windows Server would be major victories for Microsoft and its partners.The 31 PercentThis is where Microsoft’s PMA comes. Whereas the precursor organizations, the MAP and theMMA, were more vocal in espousing the need to migrate, the PMA appears to take a morehands-on and action-oriented approach, explains Scott Rosenbloom, a member of Microsoft’sworldwide modernization team, which is run by Bob Ellsworth. Ellsworth is a systems engineerwho spent 24 years at clone mainframe maker Amdahl (which was absorbed into Fujitsu) whocame to Microsoft in 2001 to manage the Windows Server Enterprise and Datacenter Edition.Rosenbloom, who was a senior product manager in Microsoft’s Server and Cloud division, isthe guy who runs the PMA group.“The old MMA and MAP were focused on marketing primarily in the form of awareness–to helpeducate the market on the capabilities of distributed platforms for running traditional Tier-1,mission-critical workloads, as well as methods for preserving existing assets as they moved tox86 based infrastructure,” Rosenbloom tells IT Jungle via email. “As is reflected through IDCmarket numbers, the movement of organizations from mainframe, RISC, and midrange systems(System i, HP3000, OpenVMS) has accelerated with the market deciding on distributedarchitectures based on Windows and Linux. Therefore, the PMA has moved fromawareness/marketing to more focus on support and execution of existing modernizationprojects.”According to the PMA’s website at, the program is a“Web-community” designed to accomplish several goals, including: helping memberscollaborate about midrange and mainframe migrations; to help businesses learn about theMicrosoft application platform (i.e. Windows Server, SQL Server, and related middleware); toprovide co-marketing, sales, and support to PMA members and their customers; and to serve asa clearinghouse for white papers, videos, and other documents and collateral.You will find several interesting videos on the PMA website, including presentations by expertslike Gartner analyst Dale Vecchio, HP’s enterprise architect Stan Murawksi, Micro Focus 2/4
  3. 3. director of modernization Andrew Wickett, and Ellsworth, the worldwide director of platformmodernization.Vecchio’s presentation on mainframe migrations is particularly insightful. He makes the pointthat mainframes (and IBM i servers, we can infer) had to be rock-solid and well-managedbecause they contained all the key applications and data. Distributed systems require acompletely different mindset, because they have no single point of failure, although they, too,require management discipline. “We think this discipline can easily be brought to distributedenvironments–highly available, high performing environments.”Less FUD, More FillingJudging from the PMA website, Microsoft seems eager to dive into the nuts and bolts of platformmigrations–to geek out on the different options available and the advantages and disadvantagesof each–which is refreshing. Presentations like Vecchio’s, and the access to subject matterexperts that the PMA facilitate, show that the group is taking migrations seriously.Microsoft seems to have moved a little bit beyond FUD with the PMA, which began in 2010. Thetech giant has spread its share of fear, uncertainty, and doubt in the past–namely concerningthe coming demise of IBM “big iron” platforms. It shouldn’t be held against Microsoft, since allsystem vendors do it, and to be honest, there is still a little FUD with the PMA. But when youalready own 48 percent of the market’s revenue (which is about where Unix peaked in the late1990s), there’s something to be said for letting your actions do the talking and broaching thetopic from a point of power. Microsoft seems to be waiting for the migration deals to come to it,and the PMA is the place where opportunities trickle in.Partners are integral to the PMA. In the IBM i space, Microsoft is working with well-known toolvendors like ASNA, Fresche Legacy (formerly Speedware), LANSA, Micro Focus, and Transoft;some less-well known tool vendors like ATX Technologies and Unicon; and tool vendorsspecializing in certain areas, like Vision Solutions. There are also lots of consulting groupshooked up with the PMA, ranging from small firms like Packaged Business SolutionsInternational to big ones like Accenture to Wipro Technologies. There are 64 partners listed onthe PMA website; the program is free for partners to join.The PMA acts as a referral program for these partners, who can rely on Microsoft to providethem with subject matter experts, technical white papers, and other resources to get proof ofconcept programs off the ground. The PMA also participates in several events every year,including the Microsoft Partner Conference, the Gartner Application Architecture, Development,and Integration Summit, and the PMA Summit.“The PMA has had tremendous success over the last several years,” Rosenbloom says.“There has been high double-digit growth in projects moving from IBM mainframe, midrange,Oracle/Unix and Sybase to Windows and SQL Server through this partner ecosystem.”Don’t expect the PMA to fade away any time soon, especially as Microsoft goes after theremaining 31 percent of server dollars that aren’t spent on X86 gear. 3/4
  4. 4. RELATED STORIES Server Sales Slow As Buyers Await New Processors Fresche Legacy Debuts with Newly Acquired Code Converter for IBM i Microsoft Technologies Gaining Ground in the IBM Midrange Transoft to Use ASNA’s System i Modernization Tools ASNA Brings RPG to .NET Migration Software to Latest Windows IDE Microsoft Extends Laurel Branch to IBM Midrange Shops 4/4Powered by TCPDF (