Thursday Jun 07, 2012

Advantages of relational databases over VSAM, ISAM and hierarchical data stores

When migrating companies from legacy environments to the cloud, invariably you run into older hierarchical, flat file, VSAM, ISAM and other legacy data stores. There are many advantages to moving these databases into a relational database structure. The most important which is that most cloud providers run on relational database models. AWS, for example, supports Oracle, SQL Server, and MySQL. The top three 'other reasons' for moving to a relational database are:
1. Data Access – Thousands of database access tools from query creation to business intelligence.
2. Management and monitoring – Hundreds of tools for management and monitoring of the database.
3. Leverage all the free tools from relational database vendors. Free Oracle database tools include:
-Application Express – WYSIWIG browse based application development and deployment.
-SQL Developer – SQL and PL/SQL development. Database object maintenance.
Adding number four based upon feedback:
4. Data quality, integrity, referential integrity and even business logic is embedded in the database.
What is interesting is that Big Data NoSQL databases and XML databases are taking us back to the days of VSAM (key value databases) with NoSQL and IMS (hierarchical) with XML databases?

Tuesday May 22, 2012

The COBOL Brain Drain

Cover Story in this edition of Computerworld:
COBOL Brain Drain
Some notable things from article:
1. 48% of companies still use a lot of COBOL. The highest language usage beating even Java!
2. COBOL is being used in 53% of cases for new applications.
3. Move off mainframe / COBOL is not happening any time soon (this is my interpretation) as the article mentions this a couple times 5-10 years people will start
to retire...which means more like 10-15 years.
4. Thought this was funny but sad. US government had IBM look at a System/36 environment to see if should be migrated off this system. IBM concluded it would
be to complicated and costly. This is like hiring Microsoft to see if you should move from Window/SQL Server to Linux/Oracle.

Monday May 14, 2012

The market for CICS COBOL mainframe applications

Most interesting quote from a mainframe ISV development shop:
'No one is buying CICS COBOL applications anymore'

Tuesday May 08, 2012

Progress Divesting mainframe integration software

Will be interesting to see which company picks up Progress DataDirect Shadow product:
Shadow for sale

Friday May 04, 2012

Migrating DB2 z/OS to Oracle Database

I have been receiving many requests for information on migrating IBM z/OS DB2 databases to Oracle so I thought this would be a great topic.
Third Party Tool Solutions
1.Ispirer- Ispirer - I have worked with there tool before and it is solid. They offer services as well.

Third Party SI Providers (with their own tools)
1.Prac Trans - Prac Trans - I have worked a lot with this company. They have both internal tools to migrate db2 z/OS and very skilled mainframe DB2 resources.

Oracle Solutions
A. Oracle ART Tuxedo Workbench - Oracle ART Workbench
Note: This costs minimum of $80K for two developer licenses.
Solution is disk to disk based.
B. Oracle Warehouse Builder - Free Oracle database ETL tool. You would use JDBC as listed here:
OWB
OWB supports importing of COBOL copybooks where DB2 tables are often defined. NOTE: JDBC connection to mainframe DB2 can be slow.
Solution can be disk to Oracle DB or DB2 to Oracle (stream based).
C. Oracle DRDA Gateway - Connect to DB2 on mainframe from Oracle and use Select statements to migrate (nothing to install on mainframe) Oracle DRDA Gateway
Solutions is stream based/disk less.
D. Oracle Data Integrator - No DB2 Knowledge built for DB2 mainframe but one could be developed.

Monday Apr 30, 2012

Forrester comments on Dell and Perot modernization acquisitions

Interesting read;
Forrester Blog Entry
From blog:
1. "MAKE was a software-product company with a services arm" - I would describe MAKE as a tool assisted services company.
2. "Services firms that ignore MAKE's processes tend to fail / require bailout from MAKE to place the project back on the path to success"
- Agree completely! I have seen so many projects fail without a solid process / approach

Thursday Apr 05, 2012

Dell - Consolidating migration market place ?

First acquisition was re-hosting and now re-architecture:
Dell acquires Make Technologies

Wednesday Apr 04, 2012

Dell getting into platform migration space

Dell has a large service organization with its acquisition of Perot Systems a few years back. It now has expertise in getting companies off a legacy IBM mainframe systems:
Dell acquires Clerity

Monday Mar 19, 2012

Chargeback and showback...both a 'throw back'

Been getting asked again by customers and partners about chargeback and showback in the cloud so thought I would blog on my response to this question. Charge Back background, information and industry analysis: Cloud computing is all about shared resources. These shared resources are computer servers (including memory and CPU), network devices, hard disk storage, database servers, application servers, cooling, floor space, electricity and more. These resources are shared by departments within a company, or by a number of companies, when resources are hosted in the public or hybrid cloud. Currently, hosting providers that run other companies on their cloud platforms do not have an accurate way to measure the shared computing resources used by a specific user let alone used by a specific customer. Additionally, companies running their own cloud data centers, for private or hybrid clouds, have no way of measure and charging back the departments in the company that are using these shared cloud resources. In both cases, the lack of determine shared resource costs and to charge them back to the company, department or user that is using this resources is limited a clear measure of business benefit and impacting company’s ability to measure the Return on Investment (ROI). An IT chargeback system is an accounting strategy that applies the costs of IT services, hardware or software to the business unit in which they are used. This system contrasts with traditional IT accounting models in which a centralized department bears all of the IT costs in an organization and those costs are treated simply as corporate overhead. Showback involves showing the IT costs to a department or customer but not actually charging them for their IT usage. Showback is a gradual method of introducing chargeback into an enterprise. Most companies implement a show back mechanism before a full chargeback system is put in place. Oracle chargeback product: Oracle Enterprise Manager provides tools for defining detailed Chargeback plans spanning different metrics collected for each type of resources as well as defining Cost Centers for grouping costs across multiple developers. Chargeback plans can use not only usage based costs, but also configuration based costs (e.g. version of the platform) or fixed costs (e.g. flat-rate management fee). Chargeback has rich out of the box reports. Trending reports show how charge and resource consumption varies over time, while Summary reports show the breakdown of charges or usage by different dimensions such as Cost Center or Target Type. These reports help consumers in understanding how their charges relate to their consumption and also assist the IT department with budgeting and planning activities. With BI Publisher, the reports can be made available in a variety of formats such as PDF, HTML, Word, Excel or PowerPoint.

Thursday Mar 15, 2012

Running applications in the cloud not designed for the cloud

The question of what to do with applications that were written for the mainframe or client/server based applications that do not fit into a shared service model of the cloud has come up a lot in the last few weeks. This is something that is addressed in chapter 8 of the Migrating to the Cloud book. The bottom line is: The issue you face with moving client/server applications to the cloud via rehosting is “where will the applications run?” Currently, your applications are installed on client PC machines or other thick client devices; the Apple iPhone is in the thick client category as you actually download an application that runs on your iPhone; the application now needs to be hosted on a central server accessible through the Web. A handful of products from Oracle and third parties are available for hosting client/server applications in the cloud. Third-party solutions include Citrix XenApp (formerly Citrix WinFrame Server, Citrix MetaFrame Server, and Citrix Presentation Server) and VMware Server. Oracle solutions include Oracle Virtual Server, Oracle Tuxedo, and Oracle Exalogic. Oracle Tuxedo is the leading open systems transaction processor (TP). It supports both COBOL and C/C++ applications, as well as Ruby and Python. Oracle Tuxedo can run on Oracle Exalogic to provide you both the application runtime environment (Tuxedo) and the cloud hardware infrastructure (Exalogic). Oracle Tuxedo can also be deployed on Oracle Virtual Server for a virtualized cloud environment. We will discuss Oracle Virtual Server and Oracle Exalogic in detail in the “Target Hardware and Software Stack Options” section later in this chapter. [Begin WARNING] A client/server application cannot just be moved to a virtual server and be considered cloud-ready. The application is now accessible by many users, so it must be multiuser and multithreaded. Oracle Tuxedo and Oracle WebLogic Server are both multiuser and multithreaded. A single-user C, C++, or Java application can be made multiuser by running this application in Oracle Tuxedo or Oracle WebLogic Server as these application server containers are multiuser and multithreaded. When using Oracle Virtual Server, it needs to be placed into a grid middle tier environment. This environment could consistent of a cluster of commodity hardware components with a load balancer in front of the configuration for managing load balancing (multithreading) and multiuser connections. This virtual server grid can then run hundreds of images of the same application so that the application can service hundreds or thousands of users. [End WARNING]

Saturday Feb 25, 2012

Bringing Cloud 1.0 in house - Is moving to private cloud from the public cloud already happening ?

Visiting with a major corporation that is bringing all their managed services in house. Granted, most of the infrastructure is on cloud 1.0 (the mainframe), but is this something we will see with cloud 2.0 a few years from now? Certainly, the reasons the company is doing this - lack of innovation, not having easy access to data that belongs to them, being held hostage to the business and technical models of the service provider, and raising costs because the vendor feels the customer is stuck with them - are all items that folks are not hearing are things to beware when moving to SaaS or public cloud DaaS. Could be something to watch.

Thursday Dec 01, 2011

Legacy Application Migrations

Mainframe, Sybase Powerbuilder and Lotus Notes are all consider legacy applications:
ComputerWorld Article

Monday Nov 28, 2011

A heterogeneous world

Interesting comment: 'is really recognizing that the world is heterogeneous'....
For the last twenty years...or more
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Migrating legacy client/server and mainframe technologies to the Oracle cloud.

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