Fights between proponents of mainframes and distributed computing platforms over which platform is better suited to run any given application workload continue unabated, but it is becoming easier to unify the management of those application workloads.
In the interest of getting the most out of their investments in diverse computing platforms, IT organizations have been paying a lot more attention in recent years about which application workloads run where. To help simplify the management of that process, CA Technologies developed CA Workload Automation software, the latest version of which adds support for additional platforms, cloudbursting, an enhanced user interface and the ability to identify root causes of issues that are adversely affecting performance of applications running across multiple platforms.
According to Mark Combs, senior vice president of mainframe strategy for CA Technologies, while a lot of progress has been made in terms of unifying the management of mainframes and distributed computing systems, the nature of modern applications requires a more dynamic approach towards managing what portions of those applications run where. There is a lot more economic scrutiny being applied these days in terms of making sure the IT organization is as efficient as possible, which Combs says fundamentally requires more reliance on IT automation technologies.
A key component of that capability is the analytics tools within CA Workload Automation that Combs says provide a facility with a way to monitor the critical paths within any application. Using that capability gives IT organizations the tools they need to enforce service-level agreements (SLAs) attached to applications that now routinely invoke compute resources that reside on multiple platforms.
In fact, Combs says the day when organizations would hire specialists to manage mainframes and distributed computing platforms separately are coming to a close. Instead, Combs says IT organizations are clearly looking for people who are more “ambidextrous” in terms of the types of computing platforms they can manage.
When it comes to the management of IT these days, it’s a brave new world. Specializations of all kinds are being eliminated in favor of a more generalist approach that allows IT organizations to manage IT resources, including mainframes, at a higher level of abstraction. As a result, it’s still a little unclear what IT organizations will exactly look like in the future, with the possible exception that they most certainly will not resemble anything they do today.