Focus and Innovation at SHARE Phoenix 2019
Last week I got to attend the SHARE conference held in Phoenix, Arizona. Since its founding in 1955, SHARE has come a long way as an influential information technology association that aims specifically at helping IT professionals expand their knowledge and enhance their skills through inspiration, education and networking. SHARE Phoenix 2019 had a total of 980 Attendees, 183 Speakers and 237 Exhibitors from 53 companies. It features more than 500 technical sessions focused on enterprise IT’s hottest topics such as Pervasive Encryption, Cloud Technology in the Enterprise, Data Privacy, API Economy and IBM Z topics.
One of the featured speakers who inspired me most was an American hero Captain, Mark Kelly, who was a combat pilot in Iraq, an astronaut on four space shuttle missions and commander of the final flight of Space Shuttle Endeavour. In his speech titled “Endeavor to Succeed” at the keynote, he showed the audiences how focus, dedication and persistence can help one succeed in any competitive setting. He shared some personal stories about his wife Gabrielle Giffords, a former Congresswoman, who was shot on her head at a public event. Even with those toughest challenge of his life he was able to combine teamwork, leadership, communication and family in an unwavering commitment to succeed. I later learned that he is running for a seat in the U.S. Senate in Arizona, for which I wish him all the success.
As the biggest sponsor of the event, IBM hosted most of the sessions in this conference. Innovation was a main theme in these sessions. A recent focus for IBM Z industry has been mainframe modernization. IBM and ISV are trying hard on the modernization Journey through innovation. In a session I attended Wednesday (March 14th) afternoon, titled “z/OS V2R4 Preview: z/OS Container Extensions – Running Linux on z docker containers inside z/OS”, Gary Puchkoff provided a preview of an exciting new feature of z/OS V2R4, z/OS Container Extensions, which brings the ability to deploy Linux software packaged as Docker images directly inside a z/OS system using standard Docker container interfaces. This feature significantly expands what one can do with their z/OS systems by allowing the deployment of Linux software side by side with z/OS software and middleware while preserving a z/OS operational model and z/OS Qualities of Service. This session turned out to be more popular than expected, attracting more than 100 attendees. Many couldn’t find chairs and had to stand and listen.
Another area for innovation is in cloud technology which has been playing an increasingly big role modernizing mainframe. ICP (IBM Cloud Private) is the platform IBM provided for developing modern applications based on microservices architectures, Kubernetes framework and some opensource technologies. ICP on z will provide the same cloud user experience for z customers. IBM sees IBM Z as a differentiating asset in ICP from services that span z/OS, Linux, and public cloud due to system z’s high availability, security and performance. Similarly, Syncsort is seeing multi-cloud as a mainstream strategy (please refer to CTO Tendu Yogurtcu’s Blog: How to Avoid the Downside of Cloud First Strategy). Syncsort products rolled out in the past couple of years (such as Athene, Trillium and Trillium Global Locator) were good implementations of this strategy. These products can be deployed and run on both premise and cloud, giving our clients great flexibility and scalability.
Innovation has been a constant theme at Syncsort as well. And our focus is data. Our innovative products are able to access, transform and cleanse data that used to be hard to reach. Besides Ironstream for Splunk which provides the real enterprise value – by seamlessly integrating the IBM i and z/OS data into the powerful Splunk platform, the EView family of products enable the seamless and flexible integration of IBM mainframe and IBM i server environment data into software platforms like ServiceNow. ServiceNow is a leading ITSM (IT Service Management) and ITOM (IT Operations Management) company. It is the #1 on Forbes World’s Most Innovative Companies List. Even with its dominance in the market, the ServiceNow platform still has a huge gap in its ability to include IBM mainframe and IBM i environment data. EView Discovery for ServiceNow gives customers visibility into mission critical IBM environments as part of a total end-to-end solution as well as how:
- Having a single view of the entire infrastructure drives smarter IT decisions
- Effective service modeling improves service management quality for change, incident management and compliance that includes the key IBM environments
- To leverage your investment into ServiceNow, automate tasks, and expand the capabilities – providing insights previously not possible
(More info can be found in the webcast from Trent Gregory on Eliminate the Blind Spots in Your ServiceNow Environment.)
Another SHARE conference will be held in Pittsburgh from August 4, 2019. It’s interesting to see what new innovations will happen in the mainframe industry until that time.