De-Silo Your Mainframe Data to Regain Agility

Does your mainframe data live in a silo? If so, you’re undercutting your ability to use data to be agile. Here’s why that’s a problem, and how to fix it by bridging the Big Iron-Big Data divide.

Mainframe Data: Break Down the Silo to Regain Agility

If you’re familiar with the DevOps movement, you probably already know what the words silo and agile mean within the context of IT. In case you don’t, here’s a quick primer.

In DevOps-speak, any type of technology, process or group of people that operates in isolation is a silo. A goal of organizations that embrace DevOps principles is to break down silos by integrating disparate components.

The logic here is simple: When tools, practices and organizational units mesh and coordinate, you get more productivity, faster results and a lower rate of error. That’s why breaking down silos is so important.

Download now: Bloor Spotlight Paper -- Big Data and the Mainframe, Issues & Opportunities

Agile, meanwhile, refers to the ability to adapt, adopt new technologies, modify processes, scale up or down and otherwise operate in a nimble, flexible way. Developing and expanding an organization’s ability to be agile is also central to the DevOps mindset.

Related: The Why and How of DataOps, A New Approach to Data Management

Mainframe Data and Silos

If you have a mainframe, and you haven’t taken steps to integrate it seamlessly with the rest of your infrastructure, there’s a good chance that your mainframe is one of the biggest silos inside your organization.

That’s because, by default, mainframe data is very disconnected from the rest of your infrastructure. It exists in formats that are difficult to convert and use with modern analytics tools. It takes a long time to offload. It’s expensive to store for long periods.

In these ways and more, mainframe data constitutes a silo within most environments today.

Mainframe Data: Using Integration to Break Down the Silo and Regain Agility

De-Siloing Your Mainframe

Fortunately, things don’t have to be this way. You can de-silo your mainframe data to add agility to your organization.

You do this by bridging the gap between your mainframe and the rest of your infrastructure – in other words, by integrating your “Big Iron” systems (i.e., mainframes) with modern Big Data analytics tools.

When you gain the ability to access mainframe data quickly and integrate it into analytics and monitoring platforms like Hadoop and Splunk, you turn siloed data into an asset. Your data not only becomes more accessible but also more valuable.

You can then use your mainframe data to drive business decisions and perform operations like real-time fraud detection, instant product recommendations and tracking of transaction trends.

Syncsort’s suite of data integration tools helps make the de-siloing of your mainframe data possible. Check out our latest eBook, Bringing Big Data to Life: Overcoming Challenges of Legacy Data in Hadoop, to learn more.

Christopher Tozzi

Authored by Christopher Tozzi

Christopher Tozzi has written about emerging technologies for a decade. His latest book, For Fun and Profit: A History of the Free and Open Source Software Revolution, is forthcoming with MIT Press in July 2017.
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