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What’s Old is New Again

Howard Rubin

Consultant Product Marketing Manager, Dell EMC Storage Division
My name is Howard and I’m a marketing guy. There I said it! Admitting to it is the first step right? Truth be known, I started “life” as a phone support guy then got promoted to Sales Engineer due to my good looks. That role dragged on far too long. Hanging out in data centers at 3am installing and troubleshooting ATM and Frame Relay gear got old; just like that technology. When I’m not marketing tech stuff, I’m either playing with my own tech gear at home or travelling to some exotic destination with my incredible wife, Mary. Fifty/Fifty chance it’s a shopping or exotic beach destination next time you get my out-of-office message.

Latest posts by Howard Rubin (see all)

At our office, we give our mainframe product managers and engineers a hard time.  When mainframe customers come in for meetings, we joke about ensuring that the customer briefing rooms have analog dial-up ports so our guests can check their AOL email during breaks. The reality is quite different. Yes, there are many grey-bearded experts who grew up with the mainframe and really understand the workings of the overall system. However, working right alongside these experts is a new generation of mainframe and application specialists – the Millennials (often called “Generation Y”). And, the exact reason why they’ve joined these companies is to work on leading edge cloud and mobile apps for the mainframe. Say what?

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

Since IBM’s introduction of the first mainframe in 1952, businesses have relied on them to run their mission-critical applications.  Over the last 60 years, mainframe hardware has gotten smaller while workloads have grown significantly larger, requiring these systems to perform even faster. This rat race is to keep up with the increasing amount of data and transaction throughput, while satisfying the decreasing tolerance for transaction latency.  So what does this all have to do with mobile apps and the cloud? The answer is EVERYTHING!

Mobile apps connected to mainframe computers bring the conveniences of just a decade ago to your mobile phone, tablet or wrist. Flash back a decade plus; were you verifying your savings account balances by driving to the local bank ATM or teller window? Were you waiting weeks for mailed or faxed paperwork on your fender bender car accident processed by your insurance agency? Or, maybe you thought nothing about waiting in line for the person ahead of you buying a gallon of milk who was filling out a check by hand (and usually extremely slowly)? Without mainframes and the Gen Y’ers developing innovative mobile applications, we might just be stuck doing these activities the same way. The good news is that mainframes enable every one of us to do away with all this waiting nonsense. (more…)

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