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Linux on System Z and z/VM. End of z/OS?

 
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balimanja

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Joined: 14 Aug 2007
Posts: 39
Location: Bangalore

PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 10:49 pm    Post subject: Linux on System Z and z/VM. End of z/OS?
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Hello everyone.

The title of the topic may seem very general, but my concern here is: Are we coming to the end of the non-GUI era of mainframes? Though Linux was made to work on Mainframes as early as 1999 itself, it did not see the progress that it sees now. Especially with the latest zEnterprise machines.

Now, laying more emphasis on developers, I humbly put forward my question. Do we see the need to learn new technologies like Java or C++, since mainframe is no longer made to work only with just COBOL, JCL, etc.? How dire is this need? Is it just a matter of time that we would see COBOL and other languages becoming extinct with the arrival of Linux?

Why I ask this is because I wanted the opinions of expert members here on whether me making a move towards Linux (and associated technologies like Java or C++) would see me going forward on being a good Mainframe developer? If you feel that such a move is right, I request you to kindly guide me as to how I need to begin this new journey.

Being in India, where all the backdoor (non-ground-breaking work with respect to advancements on mainframes) work happens, I do acknowledge with all humility that such opportunities are not at my disposal and at the end of the day I am just an employee of a large corporation & I have to work with what my shop has.

Thank you all for your time.

Cheers,
Manjunath
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Robert Sample

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Joined: 06 Jun 2008
Posts: 8117
Location: East Dubuque, Illinois, USA

PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 11:06 pm    Post subject:
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A quick history lesson for you:

In the 1970's the minicomputer was going to kill off the mainframe.
In the 1980's the microcomputer was going to kill off the mainframe.
In the 1990's the Internet was going to kill off the mainframe.
In the 2000's client / server computing was going to kill off the mainframe.
Today, you hear that cloud computing (or Linux, or Java, or ...) will kill off the mainframe.

Do you detect a trend? Are you aware that IBM pretty much sells more processing power in mainframes each year than the year before? The mainframe that is running today uses Unix, and Perl, and C, and C++, and Java ... along with COBOL, FORTRAN, PL/I, and all the same old technologies. The mainframe has changed, and is changing, but it's not likely to go away anytime soon. It is wise to learn Java and Perl and the other new tools -- but there most likely will continue to be a place for the legacy tools for quite a while to come.
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balimanja

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Joined: 14 Aug 2007
Posts: 39
Location: Bangalore

PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 11:53 pm    Post subject:
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Thanks Robert. I am sure that mainframes are here to stay, it is this metamorphosis that it is going through that worries me. It won't be long before we could see a developer who has very little knowledge about mainframes writing a perl script or a JAVA API for it. Which just leaves me with the thought: Would the legacy languages become the knowledge of the elite and rare in future? Just like Assembly Language programming has become now. Looking from the software company perspective, being aware that a company can squeeze more out of a mainframe with the latest technologies as compared to the legacy tools, the demand for such a 'resource' would increase leaving the old-timers to dwindle in numbers unless any action is taken. It was just a thought that I thought I could share here on the forum.

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dick scherrer

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Joined: 23 Nov 2006
Posts: 19270
Location: Inside the Matrix

PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 12:39 am    Post subject:
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Hello,

The "old timers" were supposed to "dwindle" 10 years ago and 20 years ago and 30 years ago as well. Re-read the history Robert provided.

I suspect my grandchildren will have the opportunity to work on a mainframe if they so choose icon_smile.gif
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Robert Sample

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Joined: 06 Jun 2008
Posts: 8117
Location: East Dubuque, Illinois, USA

PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 1:04 am    Post subject:
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Quote:
It won't be long before we could see a developer who has very little knowledge about mainframes writing a perl script or a JAVA API for it.
This happens now -- with Perl, with Java, even with COBOL. There have been questions on this forum from people who were not aware that the maifnrame is using EBCDIC and that EBCDIC is different than ASCII.
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