Megatrends for the Modern Mainframe with DevOps with BMC Software

Megatrends for the Modern Mainframe with DevOps with BMC Software

On this episode of Futurum Live! From the Show Floor, The Futurum Group’s Steven Dickens talks with BMC Software’s Tony Anter, DevOps Architect & Evangelist and Tim Ceradsky, Director – Solutions Engineering, during the SHARE Conference in New Orleans. Their conversation covered megatrends for the modern Mainframe with DevOps. It’s a great conversation you don’t want to miss.

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Steven Dickens: Hello and welcome. My name’s Steven Dickens and we’re here for another Futurum Live From the Show Floor from SHARE at New Orleans. I’m joined by Tony and Tim from BMC.

Hey guys, welcome to the show.

Tony Anter: Thanks for having us, Steve.

Tim Ceradsky: Thank you.

Steven Dickens: So we’re here for all things DevOps. Tony, we’ve had you on the show before. Maybe let’s get the listeners and the viewers orientated first. Maybe let’s tell them what you do for BMC.

Tony Anter: So I’m the DevOps architect and evangelist for BMC, and I go in and talk to customers at events with different people about what the art of the possible is, on the mainframe and off.

Tim Ceradsky: And my team are the solution engineers from BMC. So what we do is actually work hand in hand with customers. Tony and I work very closely together and the team to really help that art of the possible become possible and we work very closely with them and then translate that into being able to plug them into education services and professional services and so on.

Steven Dickens: So Tony, a lot of conversations that we’ve had over the last few months. I know you talked to customers a lot. I know there’s some big mega trends that are shaping. We’ve talked about DORA metrics, we’ve talked a lot about CICD pipeline. What are those big trends that you are hearing from customers as you have these conversations?

Tony Anter: I mean we talked about DORA metrics before and you can’t underplay the importance of metrics and specifically the DORA metrics because I always say if you can’t measure it, it doesn’t exist. So that absolutely is true. It’s still true today. I think the big trends that I’m seeing, number one is scanning. I think a lot more companies, a lot more organizations are talking about static code analysis, security scanning, SaaS scanning, DaaS scanning. You’re seeing the trend with mainframe DevOps take the same trajectory that you saw with distributed. And so now that they’ve automated their builds, they’ve automated their deploys, they’re starting to automate their testing and getting a lot of testing scripts written, now you’re starting to see that need for scanning, that need for code coverage. Again, it all comes back to metrics. What is the quality and shape of my code and how can I improve that?

Steven Dickens: So you are seeing that same trend that you saw on cloud come to the mainframe. So it’s not a different trend, it’s the same trend but just now starting to come to the mainframe platform.

Tony Anter: Yeah, absolutely. And the other one I’m seeing is a lot of people are now they’re trying to figure out how do they plug in AI? How do they plug in your ChatGPTs, your AI frameworks into their DevOps in general and specifically into their mainframe. Because the mainframe is the source of truth for the majority of the data in a lot of the organizations we deal with, absolutely. And the wealth of that data almost can’t be calculated. So now how do I tap my automated artificial intelligence into all that data to start getting a lot better trends? I would say right now you’ve got people kicking the tires on that, but I expect that to continue to rise, continue to be a hot topic.

Steven Dickens: Your role, out there chatting to customers every day, what are you hearing? Where are they in that deployment journey? Anthony just talked about it. What are you hearing from clients?

Tim Ceradsky: It’s exactly where we’re at is that it’s all about execution. Being able to take these ideas, these concepts… And it’s really, we’ve kind of gotten away from the idea that the mainframe is a separate platform. It’s just a platform. And so being able to take the same ability to optimize your environment but applying those same lessons learned to the mainframe as well has really yielding immense benefits. AI, machine learning, take the other side of DevOps is ops and being able to take all of that operational insight, bring it up and make decisions on it. But there are so many decision points in our ops product alone. We measure something on the order of 16 million variables in a typical mainframe environment. Now how does an individual, no matter how good they are, be able to comprehend all that and make actionable decisions. So we have to surface that information in a way that actually allows you instead of making a decision on trying to scan it yourself, put AI to work, scan what’s happening, take those lessons learned, pass them to the development staff and be able to make actionable changes to continuously improve the environment. So it’s both sides of the same equation. DevOps, you got to work both sides of it to get successful.

Tony Anter: You see a lot of people ignore the ops side of the DevOps equation to the benefit of dev. And realistically now you’re starting to see a lot more ops, a lot more SRE come into this discussion than there was in the past.

Steven Dickens: Yeah, we’re starting to see that platform engineering, site, reliability engineering, those disciplines have coming through and really that equal dev and ops. You touched on the development pipeline there for a moment, we talked about CICD, a lot of people looking at that entire supply chain. Is that part of your discussion, you having more and more of that conversation with the clients you speak to?

Tim Ceradsky: Yeah, definitely.

Tony Anter: Absolutely. I mean, everyone wants to plug this into the apparatus they already have. Everybody wants to plug their capabilities. And what they want is they want a team regardless of whether it’s a mainframe team or a cloud team or a mobile team, they want them looking at that same pipeline, that same capability, and leave the underlying platform level decisions to the pipeline. Let this guy, this girl, this person, work on making awesome application development code, work on creating operation [inaudible]-

Steven Dickens: Regardless of platform, right?

Tim Ceradsky: Right.

Tony Anter: No matter what the platform is. Exactly.

Tim Ceradsky: From a management standpoint, what makes this really interesting is people for years have bought tools and given them to their staff, but at the same time they’re drawing down the size of those staff. So they don’t have enough time in the day to build in all the quality checks that they used to be able to do manually. So they have to automate in order to be able to leverage the utility of all the information that they bring in, all the decisions they have to make. They just simply can’t do it without thinking through the automation portion of this, the testing automation, the performance testing and so on and so forth. Those capabilities have to be in place for you to be able to be successful. So, automation is ultimately the thing that pulls all of this together and allows you to be successful.

Tony Anter: Yeah, absolutely.

Steven Dickens: So if you had to give the clients and customers that are watching this one key takeaway, what would that be?

Tim Ceradsky: For me, it is automation. I think that you have to think through, spend a lot of time designing your automation and what you want to accomplish with it, go into it with the end in mind and be willing to empower everyone on the team, bring all those concepts and perspectives forward. But ultimately you want to set up a strong infrastructure that’s flexible for both now and the future. Solve those problems, the simple ones now, so you can be more artistic about the other things that you do to create value.

Tony Anter: We call it ruthless automation.

Steven Dickens: I like that. I like that.

Tony Anter: Go through your entire process and there are no sacred cows, there are no untouchable parts. You automate everything you can automate. I always had a personal rule, if I have to do something more than three times, I write an automated script for it. And that’s how everybody should be, we should be looking to automate everything. We should not try to throw out an incredibly viable platform like the mainframe just because there’s some new technology out there. People are starting to come full circle and seeing that there are benefits to being on the mainframe and there are benefits to being on the cloud, and find that right balance between them in a hybrid environment to make it work for you.

Steven Dickens: I think that’s a fantastic summary. Thank you so much for being on the show.

Tim Ceradsky: Thank you.

Tony Anter: Absolutely. Thank you Steve.

Steven Dickens: You’ve been watching another episode of Futurum Live From the Show Floor, brought to you from SHARE in New Orleans. Please click and subscribe and we’ll see you on the next episode. Thanks very much for watching.

Author Information

Regarded as a luminary at the intersection of technology and business transformation, Steven Dickens is the Vice President and Practice Leader for Hybrid Cloud, Infrastructure, and Operations at The Futurum Group. With a distinguished track record as a Forbes contributor and a ranking among the Top 10 Analysts by ARInsights, Steven's unique vantage point enables him to chart the nexus between emergent technologies and disruptive innovation, offering unparalleled insights for global enterprises.

Steven's expertise spans a broad spectrum of technologies that drive modern enterprises. Notable among these are open source, hybrid cloud, mission-critical infrastructure, cryptocurrencies, blockchain, and FinTech innovation. His work is foundational in aligning the strategic imperatives of C-suite executives with the practical needs of end users and technology practitioners, serving as a catalyst for optimizing the return on technology investments.

Over the years, Steven has been an integral part of industry behemoths including Broadcom, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), and IBM. His exceptional ability to pioneer multi-hundred-million-dollar products and to lead global sales teams with revenues in the same echelon has consistently demonstrated his capability for high-impact leadership.

Steven serves as a thought leader in various technology consortiums. He was a founding board member and former Chairperson of the Open Mainframe Project, under the aegis of the Linux Foundation. His role as a Board Advisor continues to shape the advocacy for open source implementations of mainframe technologies.


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