Arcati 2023

One bright spot for many mainframers, in what can be a very dull January, is the arrival of the Arcati Mainframe Yearbook. The 2023 edition of this well-respected publication is now available and completely free. Let’s take a look at some highlights from the new edition. 

New challenges

2022 finally saw the restrictions of the pandemic being lifted and people returning to their places of work. It also saw what’s been called the ‘Great Resignation’ – as people decided that they no longer wanted to pursue their old careers. This, of course, put pressure on the staff who remained at mainframe sites. Secondly, the lifting of restrictions meant the focus of IT departments could move from ensuring staff could work successfully from home and refocus on building the business – making sure that organizations were making the most of the available technologies. That’s where the Yearbook really scores. The 154-page-long publication contains useful information for both new and experienced mainframers. 

The Mainframe User Survey Overview

Picking up on the idea of making the most of the available technologies, the mainframe user survey included in the Yearbook provides a way for mainframers to see what technologies other sites are actually using – and, of course, which ones they aren’t. They can use that information to inform their decisions over the year ahead.

This year, the results came from the 100 respondents who completed the survey between 21 October 2022 and 25 November 2022. Just over half (55 percent) were from North America. 15 percent were from the Asia/Pacific region, and another 15 percent of respondents were from Europe. 10 percent were from South America. And five percent were from the Middle East/Africa.

The largest respondents were from companies with over 10,000 employees worldwide (31 percent). Just over a fifth (21 percent) had 200 to 1000 employees. And 16 percent of respondents were from companies with under 200 staff, between a thousand and five thousand, and, lastly, between 5000 and 10,000 employees worldwide.

What the Arcati Mainframe Yearbook Offers

This year’s survey provided an interesting insight into how various sites are adopting new technologies. Zowe is now used at double the number of sites it was used in the previous year’s survey. 56 percent of sites are already using Splunk or equivalent. The survey found that 67 percent of sites were already using DevOps (up from 44 percent last year). And 62 percent of all respondents said that they were already reusing APIs to speed up application development. Clearly, working with mainframes is an interesting way to spend your day. They can reach out to mobile devices, the cloud and they can speed up the previously very slow application development process using DevOps. 

The mainframe strategy section contains articles by industry gurus and vendors with titles such as: 

  • The NeverEnding Story: Optimizing and Securing the Modern Mainframe
  • Bigger Together: How to Maximize Mainframe’s Value.

Another section provides a guide to sources of information for IBM mainframers. This includes information on newsletters, magazines, user groups, blogs, mainframe-related apps, and social networking information resources. Amongst the things it highlights are Enterprise Tech Journal, the TechChannel website, IBM Listservs, SHARE’s Five Minute Briefing from Database Trends and Applications, Facebook pages, and LinkedIn discussions; as well as user groups such as SHARE and IDUG. There’s also a short discussion about IBM Tech TV.

In addition, there’s a glossary of terminology section explaining what all those acronyms stand for, in a way that means you can understand them. This year, several entries were updated by Robert S Hansel (RSH) of RSH Consulting. We’re very grateful for his contributions, and we welcome input from other readers. 

The mainframe evolution section provides a mainframe hardware timeline detailing all the mainframe models that have been released by IBM and the date of their first availability from 1952 to 2022. In addition, there’s a diagram detailing all of the original OSes available for mainframes (eg. BOS, OS/360, and CP40) and the stages of their evolution to the ones that are currently available (eg z/VSE, z/OS, and Linux on IBM Z).

The vendor directory section contains an up-to-date list of vendors, consultants, and service providers working in the z/OS environment. There’s a summary of the products they supply and contact information. As usual, some organizations have disappeared from the list and some new ones have been added this year – indicating that this is still an exciting marketplace to be in.

The Yearbook’s Importance

The no-charge Arcati Mainframe Yearbook has been the de facto reference work for IT professionals working with z/OS (and its forerunner) systems since 2005. It provides a one-stop shop for everything a mainframer needs to know—definitely something worth taking a look at.

You can download a copy of the Arcati Mainframe Yearbook here.

Regular Planet Mainframe Blog Contributor
Trevor Eddolls is CEO at iTech-Ed Ltd, and an IBM Champion since 2009. He is probably best known for chairing the Virtual IMS, Virtual CICS, and Virtual Db2 user groups, and is featured in many blogs. He has been editorial director for the Arcati Mainframe Yearbook for many years.