IBM Simplifies Modernization of Mission Critical Applications for Hybrid Cloud

  • Developers will be able to develop and test using IBM Z as-a-service via IBM’s public cloud
  • New Modernization Stack of integrated software designed to accelerate application modernization and IT automation on IBM Z

ARMONK, N.Y., Feb. 14, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced key developments to help clients accelerate transformation with a series of new capabilities designed to modernize applications across hybrid cloud environments. These include plans to deliver IBM Z as-a-service on IBM Cloud for development and test, as well as additional tools for developing hybrid applications.

According to the IBM Institute for Business Value study, “Application Modernization on the Mainframe,” 71 percent of responding executives say mainframe-based applications are central to their business strategy. Four out of five respondents say their organizations need to rapidly transform to keep up with competition, which includes modernizing mainframe-based applications and adopting a more open approach.

“Today’s IBM is focused on helping our clients across every industry apply hybrid cloud and AI to transform the way their businesses work. IBM recognizes that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to modernization, said Tarun Chopra, Vice President, IBM Z Hybrid Cloud. “By leveraging both IBM Z and IBM Cloud, clients can benefit from a hybrid cloud approach that allows them to capitalize on the innovations, technical advancements, security, resiliency of each platform. With hybrid cloud, you keep your workloads where they need to be—in the cloud, on premises, and at the edge—to help reduce risk and improve time to market.”

z/OS Development and Test as-a-service in the Public Cloud for the First Time
Available as a closed experimental today, IBM plans to deliver IBM Wazi as-a-Service (Wazi aaS), bringing z/OS capabilities to IBM Cloud for the first time, expected to be generally available in 2H 2022, with on-demand access to z/OS, available as needed for development and test. This will provide z/OS developers with the agility of a public cloud development environment with the ability to use a variable amount of resources, and pay-as-you-go, matching burst and business demand. Consistent with the regulated workloads of many IBM Z clients today, IBM Wazi aaS will enable self-provisioning of a z/OS Virtual Server Instance on IBM Z in a logically isolated, highly-secured private space running in IBM Cloud.

With this announcement, IBM has significantly reduced the time to get access to z/OS development and test environments from days or weeks down to 6 minutes or less1. According to internal IBM benchmarks, z/OS development on the IBM Cloud performs up to 15x faster than comparable x86 development and test alternatives2.

Wazi aaS is being designed to help developers:

  • Increase speed and agility with on-demand access to z/OS for development and test
  • Accelerate DevOps practices with predictable and flexible consumption-based pricing
  • Reduce the need for specialized skills with a consistent cloud-native development experience

IBM is also working with ecosystem partners such as TCS and BMC to help IBM Z clients accelerate the modernization of their applications, data and processes in an open hybrid cloud architecture.

“We believe that IBM Wazi aaS will be a significant value add to our mainframe applications modernization solutions and services. It will accelerate speed to market for new and modernized systems and on-demand access to z/OS dev and test. Leveraging TCS’ cloud solutions and accelerators along with the security and reliability of IBM Cloud, we are helping clients accelerate their hybrid cloud modernization journeys and business transformation,” said Arun Prabhakar, VP & Global Head, Alliances, TCS.

“IBM’s approach to the Hybrid Cloud with Wazi as-a-Service recognizes the critical need for organizations to modernize the mainframe developer experience. Research shows that modern mainframe tools can increase developer output and productivity by as much as 175%,” said John McKenny, senior vice president and general manager, Intelligent Z Optimization and Transformation at BMC. “BMC is pleased to partner with IBM as we jointly help enterprises accelerate Mainframe DevOps in their digital transformation initiatives.”

Modern Tools for Modern Applications
IBM is also announcing the IBM Z and Cloud Modernization Stack, expected to be generally available on March 15, to jumpstart or accelerate application modernization and take a standardized approach to IT automation across a variety of common use cases. This delivers the first set of capabilities in support of the IBM Z and Cloud Modernization Center, which was announced in December, to help clients increase agility and accelerate their transformation including support for popular open source projects.

The IBM Z and Cloud Modernization Stack is designed to help clients:

  • Simplify access to applications and data through secure API creation and integration in minutes;
  • Leverage agile enterprise DevOps for cloud native development with open tools and rapid application analysis; and
  • Standardize IT automation to empower developers with access to open source environments such as Kubernetes.

For more information and to get started please visit the IBM Z and Cloud Modernization Center.

About IBM
IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider, helping clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently, and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity, and service.

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1 Measurements were done across two different IBM Cloud production sites using an experimental version of z/OS 2.4 stock image and a mz2o-2×16 VSI profile. Measurements were performed with Ansible automation based on the examples at Results may vary.

2 Performance results based on IBM internal tests running application compiles on an experimental IBM Cloud z/OS V2R4 Virtual Server Instance (VSI) with profile mz2o-2×16 versus on IBM ZD&T EE V13.3 running in an IBM Cloud x86 VSI with profile mx2-2×16. IBM ZD&T was running on Ubuntu 20.4 on a x86 Production VSI with a Cascade Lake Intel Xeon Platinum CPU @ 2.4GHz. Both z/OS VSI and ZD&T were configured with 2 vCPUs, 16GB memory, and 1 TB Block storage with 10 IOPS/GB. The following applications were compiled: a Java application that processes SMF records, a C application that processes IBM Z hardware diagnostic data, a COBOL application that creates and updates records on a file, and a FORTRAN statistical application. Results may vary.