Cloud computing and the mainframe

As cloud computing becomes more important to organizations of all sizes, does this mean that the venerable mainframe is on its deathbed? Some suppliers, such as ASG Software Solutions and IBM, think that cloud computing will power the next 50 years of mainframe use.

The folks at ASG Software Solutions reached out to me recently to let me know about CloudFactory for Mainframe (ASG-CloudFactory/MF.) 

A bit about ASG-CloudFactory/MF

This software is designed to bring the mainframe into today's cloud computing market. The company claims  that ASG-CloudFactory/MF greatly simplifies and accelerates mainframe management, ridding organizations of risky manual processes, human errors, slow mainframe request fulfillment and skill shortages due to generational knowledge gaps.

ASG Software Solutions describes its technology in the following way:

ASG-CloudFactory/MF is a fixed software solution suite comprised of ASG-CloudCockpit, a workspace to access applications, services, data and the self-service catalog; ASG-CloudStore, an Amazon-like service request management platform; and ASG-CloudRobot, a workflow designer and automation engine. ASG also plans to create an open CloudFactory for Mainframe community where companies and partners can share their workflows and scripts to promote more widespread knowledge sharing around mainframe management best practices.

Snapshot analysis

Enterprises have some very strict demands for cloud computing including high levels of performance, availability and reliability, as well as unified management. The folks at IBM have long been quite vocal about the fact that its System z meets and exceeds those requirements and has for quite some time.

ASG Software Solutions has picked up on the good match between enterprise requirements and what mainframes do and is offering a set of tools making it possible for organizations to deploy cloud computing solutions on mainframes.

IBM is also offering an extensive array of products and services designed to help organizations deploy both on- and off-premise cloud computing solutions. The mainframe can support its own and Linux workloads directly and Windows workloads through the use of X86-based blades housed in the mainframe system enclosure.

Will this increased activity to support mainframe-based clouds win over enterprises and cloud services providers? If the goal is high levels of performance, availability and reliability, the answer could be yes.