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.
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
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…)
My first role in IT was working in a data center of a reinsurance company as a Computer Operator. I was responsible for running the company’s reporting programs on the UNIVersal Automatic Computer or “UNIVAC” mainframe. To run a program on the UNIVAC mainframe, I’d go to the “Program Closet” and grab the pertinent program, which was a stack of punched cards, and then I’d feed the cards through the UNIVAC card reader and the report would be created. Fun!
Not fun…sometimes a card, which represents a line of code or an instruction, would get damaged and I’d have to recreate it using a keypunch machine. If the card were severely damaged, I’d have to go to the “Source Code Closet”. The Source Code Closet contained the Master Program Decks. Using the card from the Master Program Deck, I’d carefully replicate the damaged card by typing the instruction using the keypunch machine and then I’d rerun the operating deck through the card reader to produce the report. Memories…
Flash-forward to 2016; the cards are gone and the mainframe game has changed Mainframe customers are expanding the role of their highly secure environments to repositories of enterprise data for web servers and web-based application services. Every day more and more transactions originate from mobile devices that end up at mainframes for retail purchase transactional recording. The number of transactions occurring daily along with traditional online transactions is in the millions and growing with no end in sight.
Bottom line–the mainframe has evolved to be the platform of record for 3rd platform applications. (more…)
Guy Churchward is President of Core Technologies at EMC Corporation. He is responsible for a division that is redefining storage, through a comprehensive portfolio of core storage solutions encompassing the award-winning VMAX, VNX, VNXe, XtremIO, VPLEX, and Data Domain technologies and a cutting-edge software portfolio that delivers simplified storage systems management, continuous availability, replication, backup, and archive solutions.
Churchward has more than 27 years of experience in the IT industry, with broad international experience that spans executive management, engineering, sales, marketing and business development capacities. He joined EMC in May 2012, when he served as Senior Vice President of Engineering for the Backup & Recovery Systems Division, before becoming Division President in October 2012. He was appointed to lead the Core Technologies Division in October 2014.
Prior to joining EMC, Churchward was President and CEO of LogLogic, an enterprise log and security intelligence platform company. He has also served as Vice President and General Manager of the Data Protection Group at NetApp, where he was responsible for product strategy and development of the company's portfolio of disk-to-disk and disaster recovery products, as well as Vice President and General Manager of BEA's WebLogic Products Group. In addition, he has held senior management positions at Sun Microsystems (formerly Tarantella Inc.), The Santa Cruz Operation (formerly IXI), Accenture (formerly Binder Hamlyn) and Olivetti.
Churchward holds an Executive MBA from Stanford Business School and studied computer science at Cambridge Tutors College, England.
Many customers are navigating through what they describe as ‘the fog’ when it comes to balancing their IT budgets across where they were, where they are and where they need to be.
It starts with managing “Technical Debt”; loosely described as the legacy IT infrastructure that a CIO inherits or accumulates over time. It’s viewed as being costly and cumbersome, but it isn’t going anywhere anytime soon either. The investments that are being made in this environment are those that result in reducing costs, lowering debt and freeing up money that can be invested in critical green field opportunities.
So how do you manage “Technical Debt” and your investments moving forward? Well here’s something that was shared with me recently that I thought had great promise
The trouble with flagship products is that, typically, you need a complete set of solutions – and there’s no point in having one element that’s awesome in an array of mediocre products. Like the suit that has a beautifully tailored jacket but pants that have one leg longer than the other, the weaker parts devalue the stronger.
That’s why we’re so pleased to find out that SearchStorage has selected products from across the continuum of the EMC Core Technologies portfolio as finalists in this year’s Product of the Year Awards. With shortlistings for XtremIO for flash, VMAX for enterprise storage and Data Domain for data protection, EMC customers can pick from industry-leading products across the spectrum of their storage needs.
So, if you’re looking for a complete data storage solution, why choose point products that might not integrate simply, or portfolio solutions where a flagship product is dragged down by less-able elements, when you can find industry-leading products all from one vendor?
Voice of Customer, Data Protection and Availability Division
I have a passion for listening, more specifically, listening to customers share their IT stories, their experiences, their successes! Over the past 7 years in the role of customer reference manager and customer advocacy manager, I’ve had the pleasure of listen to amazing stories and meeting some very interesting people. The one thing that makes my job even better…I get to share those stories.
When I’m not working, I’m volunteering with foster children, running 5K fun runs, playing fashion consultant “What Not To Wear” style, traveling, and watching reality t.v
The holidays are upon us and shoppers are in vigorous pursuit to acquire the ‘hottest’ holiday gift items. eMarketer.com stated, “in 2015 eCommerce holiday shopping should see an estimated year over year growth of 5.7 percent”. I’d like to pause here for a second and ask you to think about the e-commerce demands and what it takes to process our transactions. As a consumer, I know I am constantly looking for my transactions to process faster, what about you? Many companies simply don’t have the resources, infrastructure, and experience to pull it off, especially on a global scale. In this blog I’d like to introduce you to an EMC customer who provides support for companies in the eCommerce world. Digital River is a Minnesota-based company, who delivers cloud-based eCommerce solutions globally for clients large and small; these solutions provide cutting-edge resources to address today’s commerce demands and challenges. They handle everything from personal information to PCI data and credit card numbers. So the end game for Digital River is to support their client’s requirements, while delivering fast, flexible solutions at a competitive price point.
Digital River relies on a combination of private and third party clouds to deliver their hybrid cloud solution. This approach affords them the flexibility of a plug and play infrastructure, almost as easy as putting together LEGO building blocks. The Digital River cloud environment runs custom-developed global commerce and payments applications backed by Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, and IBM DB2. (more…)
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