IBM Plans to Deliver IBM Z as-a-Service on IBM Cloud for Dev and Test

IBM has announced new capabilities designed to modernize applications across hybrid cloud environments. These include plans to deliver IBM Z as-a-service on IBM Cloud for development and test in the second half of 2022, as well as additional tools for developing hybrid applications.

According to the IBM Institute for Business Value study, "Application Modernization on the Mainframe," 71% of responding executives say mainframe-based applications are central to their business strategy. Four out of five respondents say their organizations need to rapidly transform to keep up with competition, which includes modernizing mainframe-based applications and adopting a more open approach.  

"Today's IBM is focused on helping our clients across every industry apply hybrid cloud and AI to transform the way their businesses work.  IBM recognizes that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to modernization, said Tarun Chopra, vice president, IBM Z Hybrid Cloud. "By leveraging both IBM Z and IBM Cloud, clients can benefit from a hybrid cloud approach that allows them to capitalize on the innovations, technical advancements, security, resiliency of each platform." With hybrid cloud, customers can keep workloads where they need to be—in the cloud, on prem, and at the edge—to help reduce risk and improve time to market, said Chopra.

Available as a closed experimental now, IBM plans to deliver IBM Wazi as-a-Service (Wazi aaS), bringing z/OS capabilities to IBM Cloud for the first time, expected to be generally available in 2H 2022, with on-demand access to z/OS, available as needed for development and test.

This will provide z/OS developers with the agility of a public cloud development environment with the ability to use a variable amount of resources, and pay-as-you-go, matching burst and business demand. Consistent with the regulated workloads of many IBM Z clients today, IBM Wazi aaS will enable self-provisioning of a z/OS Virtual Server Instance on IBM Z in a logically isolated, highly-secured private space running in IBM Cloud.

With this announcement, IBM says it has reduced the time to get access to z/OS development and test environments from days or weeks down to 6 minutes or less. According to internal IBM benchmarks, z/OS development on the IBM Cloud performs up to 15x faster than comparable x86 development and test alternatives2.

As part of these initiatives, IBM is working with ecosystem partners such as TCS and BMC to help IBM Z clients accelerate the modernization of their applications, data and processes in an open hybrid cloud architecture. 

IBM has also announced the IBM Z and Cloud Modernization Stack, expected to be generally available on March 15, to jumpstart or accelerate application modernization and take a standardized approach to IT automation across a variety of common use cases. This delivers the first set of capabilities in support of the IBM Z and Cloud Modernization Center, which was announced in December, to help clients increase agility and accelerate their transformation including support for popular open source projects.