There was a really interesting post this week by John Pickett on one of our other HP blogs -- Legacy Transformation: The Cost of Doing Nothing that I want to draw your attention to since the job market continues to be really tough, the economy is still fighting its way back to health, and IT budgets are under high scrutiny (including staffing levels). John takes a look at the realities of mainframe budgets and tough tradeoffs that are often considered. He also looks at keeping skills fresh and relevant in the constantly evolving IT arena and presents some uplifting thoughts on how to parlay mainframe knowledge into some hot tech areas like bladed infrastructure. Here's an excerpt from his post ....
Suppose you are currently a mainframe system admin, and are not ready to retire for another 5-10 years. After all, the recent economic downturn did turn many of our 401K’s in to 201K’s. As a system admin, you have acquired over the course of you career, two important, but different, groups of skills: 1) the ability to manage, monitor, and maintain a mainframe; 2) more importantly, you have intimate knowledge of your company’s business processes. If you are looking to play out your career until retirement, you may be tempted to view the mainframe as your life preserver since you know the mainframe better than anyone else in your company, and because your group of mainframe enthusiasts inside your company may feel comfortable being isolated from the other computing platforms. Let me suggest that holding on to the mainframe is more akin to hugging an anchor than a life preserver......
Read more of John's post Lengthen Your IT Career: Migrate from the Mainframe and please do share what you think!
To finish off
the Wednesday sessions, I caught up with Wolfgang Kocher. He was speaking about
migration, and how HP helps make it a little easier.
HP has a lot of
experience moving customers off of legacy systems, as well as a lot of recent
experience helping Sun and mainframe customers move to another platform. Having
said that, the most important reason customers want to migrate systems is to
switch their IT budget from 70% maintenance and 30% innovation to 30%
maintenance and 70% innovation, a topic I've mentioned more than once. This is
especially important since many industries are trying to control and/or reduce
IT costs while delivering better IT services.
consider infrastructure modernization, they have several options. They need to
find a platform that improves Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), is secure for the
long term, and can simplify and improve data center efficiency.
For this reason,
the HP process starts with a TCO analysis to help our customers figure out if
it makes sense. As an example, in many cases, the support costs, ISV licensing
costs, and power and cooling costs all decrease. In addition, if you go with a
solution with Industry standard components and reduced management costs, it
puts IT resources back into growing the business. And finally, you should find
an option that helps reduce your risk - from a stable vendor, standards-based
technologies, and single vendor support. When the selection includes these
factors, it is a good incentive for customers to modernize an older platform.
HP has a 4 step
migration process: understanding out customers' needs including the total cost
of ownership, planning the migration (including a Proof of Concept, if needed),
execute the migration (including acceptance testing and knowledge transfer), and
ongoing support. HP offers many levels of support and help for customers during
the process. As an example, HP offers software transition kits and, for Solaris
to HP-UX and Solaris to Linux porting kits for developers who want to do a lot
of the work in house.
At the end of
the day, HP has helped hundreds of customers migrate from one platform to
another in the last year. If you are interested in learning more, please let me
We finished a fabulous Superdome Tech Day yesterday with a number of bloggers. I need to go and see what they have written, but I know that at least one site actually covered the event live. There were also a lot of tweets using the tag #HPSuperdome.
There were a couple of questions, thoughts, and interesting things that struck me.
- OpenVMS is on HP Integrity servers. A few of the bloggers thought that OpenVMS was dead, and they were glad to hear that it is still alive, well, and being developed.
- HP Non-Stop servers are also Integrity servers, using the HP Itanium processor. They aren't Superdomes, but this was also something that a lot of people we not aware of in the room.
- I had a great chat with Jean Bozman from IDC after her presentation. It was interesting to note that the UNIX server business has consistantly been 31-32% of the overall server market revenue since they started counting the market in 1996 up until 2008. The overall market goes up and down, and the UNIX business with it. However, this explains to many people why UNIX servers will be around for a long time. The Windows and Linux on x86 markets have definitely grown, but it was mostly at the expense of "Other Servers" while the UNIX business has remained steady.
- We had a chance to look at a Superdome. Not just a new Superdome, but an original pre-production Superdome delivered months before the product was announced. It doesn't have any of the skins on it, but has been upgraded over the years with all the new components. It's still used for performance work today, almost 10 years after it was first installed.
- We finished the day with a quiz on the benefits of moving from an IBM mainframe to an HP Superdome. The questions were based on facts that come up during things like the Mainframe TCO challenge . We had a lot of fun with that, but some of the TCO savings by moving to a HP Superdome just blew people away.
Are there any of these topics that you want to hear more about? Leave me a comment, and I'll see if I can address them in more detail in a future blog post.