Broadcom’s Software Division Focuses On Delivering The Mainframe As An Open Cloud Platform

On July 15th, Greg Lotko, SVP and GM of the Broadcom Mainframe Software Division kicked off the Mainframe Innovation World Tour talking about three core tenets of Broadcom’s approach to the mainframe.  The mainframe software division has taken an expansionary view of the future of the mainframe and sees an optimistic future for its customers and prospects, some of the top enterprises and government entities around the world.

Embracing an open platform on the mainframe. 

Jeff Henry, VP of Strategy for Product Management and Design emphasized why and how an open-first approach has expanded the role of the mainframe and opened up the platforms to a world of new developers and innovators.  Broadcom is a significant contributor to Zowe, the  open source initiative within the Linux Foundation's Open Mainframe Project (OMP). Zowe is the first open source project based on IBM’s z/OS and expands the inclusiveness of mainframe to more developers with new API and CLI extensions used in pipeline automation. 

Customers, prospects, and partners are looking forward to the Zowe Conformant API Roadmap that will cover CA Workload Automation, CA7 Edition, CA Vantage storage resource manager, and CA SYSVIEW performance.  With over 220 billion lines of code, Broadcom’s software portfolio can resolve performance testing on code commit and identify run-time errors at time of coding. 

Broadcom has invested in API-enabling products for integration, security, insights, and automation by applying restful APIs for multi-factor authentication (MFA), regulatory, security, and interoperability. 

Enhancing the cloud with integration to the mainframe.

Hayden Lindsey, VP of Worldwide Mainframe Architecture and Engineering shared why and how to integrate mainframe into the cloud.  Broadcom’s point of view reflects a hybrid approach with mainframe as part of the cloud.  Lindsey sees a world where mainframe integration delivers a higher quality of service (QoS) to any cloud (i.e. public, hybrid, private, or multi-cloud). 

Better integration will enable self-service access and automation of mainframe tools (see Figure 1).  The Zowe API Mediation Layer and CA Workload Automation ESP play a role in meeting developer needs to refresh mainframe test data.  In one plane, users have 1-touch execution of routine commands, secure access through self-service portals. The goal – no mainframe skills or staff required.  As automation improves, predictive analytics play a role in remediating issues before business impact.  More importantly, users can manage unified service level agreements (SLAs) across all schedulers and platforms.

Broadcom seeks to allow any team, line of business developer, or system administrator the ability to access and automate Mainframe services via the cloud through API enablement.  More importantly, the goals of connecting Mainframe applications and data to the cloud via APIs allows users to manage and develop the Mainframe like any other cloud.

Figure 1. The Self Service Access and Automation Across Mainframe and Cloud Platforms

Source: Broadcom

New software pricing models should align more with business value not capacity.  Customers seek unlimited development and test, roll-over hours, and the ability to run workloads as needed.  New policy’s from Broadcom enable a predictable mainframe licensing model with an annual true up.

As mainframes and cloud come together, expect the Broadcom team to drive deeper integration between mainframe and the cloud with more integrations, tighter control, and secure connections (see Figure 2).  The product roadmap for Q2 and Q3 2020 includes REST APIs enabling CA7, CA TAMz, Security insights, CA SYSVIEW, and CA Vantage.  In Q4 2020, SSO and MFA will be delivered across the Zowe ecosystem as Broadcom contributes code to the open source community.  Q1 2021 will see Broadcom expanding AAI across 6+ schedulers

Figure 2. Inside Broadcom’s Roadmap for Cloud to Mainframe Integration

Source: Broadcom

Enabling and accelerating enterprise innovation. 

Customers and prospects are innovating on the mainframe platform as more opportunities to connect to the cloud and modern IDE’s.  Vikas Sinha, Vice President of Global Client Experience and Strategic Alliances, shared how Broadcom is innovating in AI DevSecOps and helping clients achieve greater efficiency and speed in business.  Customers are starting with portfolio rationalization and simplification.

One area of note is the new Mainframe Executive Learning program being launched in August 2020.  The program empowers executives with an informed view of the mainframe benefits and limitations.  A comprehensive curriculum brings to life the intersection of business and technology with the mainframe and the relationship of mainframe concepts to modern technical standards.  Completion of the course should provide a common language and understanding of the mainframe business value and allow executives to maximize the ROI of investments while making more informed decisions about the mainframe.

The Bottom Line: Broadcom Continues To Bring Excitement and Energy To The Mainframe Market

Broadcom’s acquisition of CA has resulted in a surprising doubling down of investment in the mainframe software division.  The company has invested in making it easier to use the mainframe, creating integration points with the cloud, and enabling enterprise innovation.  These efforts should address not only the aging of the mainframe work force, but also provide a path to renewed excitement about the possibilities of the mainframe as a lucrative career for young developers.

The combination of these efforts breathes new life to mainframe investments.  Had it not been acquired, the level of investment would most likely have lagged.  With the backing of Broadcom, a competent leadership team and growing interest among partners, moves the mainframe back into the hearts and minds of customers. More importantly, the mainframe can co-exist and be innovated on in the cloud, for AI, and future technologies.