Tech industry analysts regularly extol the potential value and benefits of hybrid cloud. After all, what’s not to like? But what is often ignored or glossed over in those commentaries are the potential problems that accompany those efforts and associated application modernization.
This is especially true when it comes to business-critical applications that enterprises are considering for hybrid cloud deployments. The complex analyses required for this process to succeed are typically performed by DevOps teams, so IBM’s recently announced new and upgraded DevOps solutions to accelerate cloud application modernization are worth close consideration.
The importance of application analysis
If analyzing applications for hybrid cloud is so extraordinarily complex, why are businesses even considering it? According to a recent internal assessment, an IBM banking customer whose annual IT budget is more than $1 billion determined that undergoing a hybrid transformation that includes integrating its IBM Z mainframe environment will deliver 2.5 times the value of working with a single cloud vendor. In other words, follow the ROI (return on investment).
However, banks, finance companies and other mainstay IBM Z enterprise customers face two daunting challenges. First, the business-critical applications upon which they depend are often complex, customized and integrated across business processes. In addition, many, if not most, such customers embody the fundamental concepts of 24/7/365 business, with the cost of surprise IT outages or unplanned downtime resulting in millions of dollars of painful expenses. That is one of the reasons those companies depend on the industry’s most dependable and durable enterprise system solution: IBM Z mainframes.
How do these organizations utilize application analysis? First, as a means of understanding the complexity of applications while they are planning migrations, then deciding whether those workloads are appropriate for the cloud. In addition, robust analytics are vital to the work enterprise DevOPs professionals and teams undertake in modernization projects to quickly determine whether necessary code changes are working correctly. That, in turn, impacts the success of the overall CI/CD (continuous integration/deployment) pipeline.
IBM’s new and updated functions
So, what is IBM doing to address these issues? First, the company introduced new and updated analytics features designed to bring IBM Z fully into the hybrid cloud DevOps pipeline. Those include:
- IBM Application Discovery and Delivery Intelligence (ADDI) for IBM Z V6 is designed to speed application development and modernization by offering developers deep insights into business-critical applications. The new version of IBM Wazi Analyze delivers an updated analysis of code changes immediately after the change is made. ADDI v6 has also been engineered to improve Assembler support by analyzing multi-level dynamic assembler macro calls. Finally, a set of APIs supports the integration of analysis results and the CI/CD pipeline.
- New IBM Wazi Developer V1.2 analytics is a subset of ADDI that enables developers to discover and analyze the relationships between z/OS application components and understand the impact of potential changes. Additionally, since Wazi Analyze runs in a containerized environment and can be run anywhere it can help non-Z developers acquire new skills and introduce them to mainframe computing.
IBM also announced a licensing agreement with ITP Software Systeme GmbH, a Germany-based software provider that supports developers who maintain and modernize enterprise software. The agreement aims to enhance DevOps for IBM Z hybrid cloud capabilities and is also expected to provide a strong foundation for application modernization and cloud transformation. By working with ITP, IBM will introduce advanced application analysis on IBM Z and Red Hat OpenShift and provide on-demand project-level analysis when and where it is needed.
Significant advances are often driven by incremental changes. That is true for developing new personal habits and, as we see in IBM’s announcement, can also be applied to enterprise hybrid cloud and IT modernization efforts. Notably enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of mainframe application modernization will be of interest to countless developers.
However, through these efforts, IBM is also helping to ensure the success of mainframe customers’ hybrid cloud planning, preparation and deployment efforts.