Considering DevOps? Why your server platform choice is important


Sreehari Somasundaran


Most organizations (86%) that develop software know they need to build and deploy new applications quickly – but only 10% believe they are doing it successfully. That’s why so many enterprises are adopting DevOps, according to recent HBR research (via Google).

But what about existing system of record (SOR) environments – such as those used in finance, customer relationship management, and ERP? As enterprises work to modernize their mission critical applications, many want DevOps at the foundation of their efforts. But do SOR environments, so critical to enterprises, even support DevOps?

If you’re starting your DevOps journey, you’ll want to know more about the concept, which types of application you can use it for, and which server platform could provide the best DevOps foundation for your needs. Let’s take a look!

What is DevOps?

DevOps is an approach to software development and IT operations that aims to achieve continuous delivery (CD), shorter development lifecycles, and high quality.

DevOps can be used within any kind of software development project, regardless of its platform, goals, or architecture. However, common use cases include cloud-native applications, integration projects, application modernization, and managing multi-cloud deployments.

It also touches on every part of the software lifecycle. Teams put together their own integrated DevOps “toolchain”, which coordinates the work of everyone involved across programming, building, testing, packaging, releasing, configuration, and monitoring. Tools in the toolchain might help to reduce errors, simplify application scaling, enable containerization, or automate tasks such as monitoring.

For organizations that want to release new features faster, improve reliability, and increase overall competitiveness, DevOps is foundational today.

A surprisingly good DevOps platform: IBM Z

As DevOps becomes ubiquitous, the IBM Z mainframe platform has continued to be so within enterprises. Mainframes are used by 92 of the world’s 100 biggest banks, all the top 10 leading insurers, 23 of the 25 biggest global retailers, and 71% of Fortune 500 companies (source: Forbes). In other words, they are the home of corporate data and critical applications.

But is IBM Z a good foundation for DevOps? The short answer is yes, it’s perfect for DevOps – because IBM, recognizing the importance of DevOps, has been implementing a 3-pronged strategy to turn Z into the ideal platform for DevOps teams.

The 3 prongs are:

  • Standardization – IBM will help you standardize your DevOps approach across your entire organization, including for teams working on Z.
  • Standardizing continuous delivery – IBM has made it easy to adopt true parallel development on Z and across your organization by making it easy to use tools like git, Artifactory, and Nexus.
  • Automation – The more you can automate, for example by using machine learning, the more efficient your DevOps approach becomes. Z builds in features like automated application disaster recovery, goal-driven automation, and routine task automation, to accelerate your DevOps advantages.

IBM has also gone much further to empower DevOps teams on Z. Its IBM CloudPaks provide pre-baked solutions for common DevOps tasks like deploying hybrid and private clouds on Z. There’s also a huge amount of developer support: from a dedicated set of guidebooks about DevOps on IBM Z, to the IBM Z DevOps Village user group.

And if you want to try out IBM Z features before you buy, you can do so without charge and with no on-premise installation, via the IBM Cloud. Talk to GBM about setting up your trial.

Don’t forget: IBM Z is also the best mission critical platform

But DevOps is only part of the solution. At the start of this blog, we talked about how enterprises want to use DevOps to create better mission critical applications. Such applications need to run on ultra-stable and secure servers.

IBM Z fits that description perfectly. When it comes to reliability, Z is genuinely in a class of its own. ITIC research finds that Z mainframes typically record less than 10 seconds of unplanned downtime per month, demonstrating “peerless reliability besting all competitors”.

And looking at Z’s security capabilities, it’s no surprise the world’s biggest banks trust this platform. Features include:

  • Data protection by policy even after data has left the system
  • Encryption of all data with 18.4x more speed and 1/20 the performance cost of x86
  • Protection for mission-critical apps in hybrid multi-cloud environments with IBM Hyper Protect Virtual Servers

So when it comes to choosing a DevOps platform for your mission critical applications and system of record environments – or any other kind of application – IBM Z is a truly impressive offering in terms of its DevOps support and everyday performance.

Want to learn more about DevOps on IBM Z?

If you’re interested in getting the most out of DevOps, on the most trusted and reliable server platform, GBM is here to discuss your needs and help you assess solutions.

We are IBM’s partner in the Middle East, with deep experience in delivering projects for many of the region’s leading enterprises. If you’d like to know more, contact our team today.

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