Capacity Management: How to Keep Your Mainframe Cruising

Businesses and IT organizations are changing, but the mainframe continues to be an important hub of business activity. Mainframe capacity management can ensure effective and efficient operation to help you maximize your return on investment and keep customers happy well into the future.

Meeting Enterprise Operational Needs

A friend of mine bought a 20-foot boat last summer so he could take his family tubing, water skiing, and fishing.  It’s fast, fairly easy to operate, and relatively inexpensive to fix and maintain.  One person can do most of the tasks required to get the boat in and out of the water and it doesn’t take long to learn how to do most tasks involving a small craft like his.

Mainframe Capacity Management: How to Keep Your Mainframe Cruising

This summer, my family is planning on spending a week’s vacation on a cruise liner. In doing some research, I found that the boat, at top speed, is only half as fast as my friend’s 20-foot boat and common sense (and a very long 1996 movie) tells me that the ship can’t turn nearly as quickly in the water. And it takes thousands of people to make a cruise ship do what it does, from deck hands and entertainment staff all the way up through the ship’s captain.

In other words, a novice may be able to keep a speedboat running, but that doesn’t mean he knows how to handle a cruise liner. But when managed well, a cruise liner is a smoothly operated vessel that will make thousands of people satisfied customers.

A mistake in the operation of that speedboat will make a few people unhappy or put a few people at risk, while a mistake in the operation of the cruise liner could affect thousands of people and risk the health and future of the operating company.

Watch our webcast: The Changing Landscape of Capacity Management for the Mainframe

Changing Course with Mainframe Capacity Management

Think of the mainframe as that cruise liner.  Many organizations have invested a lot of time and money into making sure that the mainframes are operating at peak efficiency – much of that knowledge, however, is held within long-tenured, very experienced employees who may be thinking about buying their own fishing boats and heading into retirement.

More specifically, does the end of working life for the baby boomer generation mean problems for the many businesses for which the mainframe is still the most mission-critical server?

Like the cruise ship, changing course with a mainframe requires planning, expertise, and resolve. Organizations have been talking about replacing the mainframe for decades, but find it is still the most efficient and most secure data processor around. Today, without customers even knowing, it is the backbone for customer-facing, web-enabled applications and services. The mainframe isn’t going anywhere. But those mainframe experts might be, and organizations have to plan for that possibility.

The story sounds dire, but it doesn’t have to be. athene®, Syncsort’s capacity management software, provides automation around key processes and requires little-to-no mainframe expertise to operate in a cost-effective manner.

As a cross-platform solution, athene allows organizations to bring data into a centralized Capacity Management Information System (CMIS) from all components that comprise a service and provides a 360° view of those services in a single dashboard. It also has predictive analytics that give organizations insight into how the mainframe is performing today and will perform in the future, even with changes in the hardware or the workload.

Evaluate your mainframe capacity management process and keep it sailing smoothly – take our Maturity Survey today! Answer 20 quick questions about your organization and its processes, and you’ll immediately receive an initial maturity level as well as a comprehensive report with suggestions on how to improve your maturity.

Rich Fronheiser

Authored by Rich Fronheiser

Rich has been working in Capacity Management for over 20 years and is currently Director of Product Marketing at Syncsort, focusing on athene®, Ironstream®, and other Data Infrastructure Optimization products. Rich joined the Syncsort team as part of its 2017 acquisition of Metron. His work began at Metron in 2003 as the first US-based Principal Consultant, which saw him in a variety of presales and post-sales consulting and education roles supporting the sales organization. In 2011, he turned his attention to product and corporate marketing and became the Chief Marketing Officer of Metron in April 2013 and served in that role through the acquisition by Syncsort. Rich earned a BS in Mathematics from Juniata College (PA) and an MBA (Management) from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. He’s also earned the ITIL v2 Manager and ITIL v3 Expert certification.

Leave a Comment