internship program, and my labor’s fairly inexpen-
sive,” Thirsk notes. “I only have three professionals to
Marist’s cloud is starting to get some attention.
“Four years ago, when I started talking about this,
everybody looked at me like I was crazy,” Thirsk
says. But as the years have passed, others have taken
an interest in Marist’s computing environment. He
notes that he has hosted lots of visitors eager to learn
what the college is doing, including representatives
from 21 companies and several universities last year.
“We’re talking to a college in the Middle East that has
over 200,000 students,” Thirsk says. “There’s only
one way to meet that load: with a mainframe.”
Along with several concurrent developments,
zEnterprise could make the mainframe into a true
cloud platform, says Susan Eustis, president of
WinterGreen Research in Lexington, Mass. Just in
the past several months, she says, IBM has improved
WebSphere, improved z/VM and adjusted its pricing
structure — all moves to make the mainframe more
cloud-friendly, she says. Eustis thinks that IBM now
has all the pieces in place to enable business units to
self-provision a mainframe-based cloud.
At the very least, zEnterprise could change the
traditional thinking about mainframes. “I think
you’ll start seeing the mainframe viewed in a di;er-ent way,” says Hurwitz. As mainframes begin to run
more of the same software as other high-end servers
and gain expanded service-management capabilities, “people are going to see it as the high end of the
server market as opposed to a world unto itself.” ◆
Harbert is a Washington, D.C.-based writer specializing in
technology, business and public policy. She can be contacted
through her website, TamHarbert.com.
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