December 4, 2018

If your mainframe is nearing the end of its life cycle, you may be weighing out your options to replace it. You could purchase another mainframe, but that is a significant capital expense. Plus, you will need skilled IT resources to manage it for you. These resources can be hard to find in the current market.

You could move some or all of your workloads into a server or cloud environment. The risks here may outweigh the benefits. For example, it is likely that you’ll have compatibility challenges to overcome. You may need to make significant changes to your applications before they can run in the new environment, to avoid losing some functions and capabilities.

Migration to Hosted Mainframe

Another option that you have is a hosted mainframe. In many cases, PSR can adjust our mainframe environment to be an exact mirror of a customer’s environment. On occasion, customers may need some upgrades before they can migrate into a hosted environment. When this happens, we can usually help with the needed upgrades.

There are a lot of potential upsides to a hosted environment, including:

  • Reduced operating costs
  • Improved operational efficiency
  • Lower cost per transaction
  • Updated infrastructure
  • Increased business resiliency

However, you might be concerned about the potential for issues with migration. Perhaps you’ve heard some nightmarish stories. Maybe your organization has never gone through a major migration.

In our 35+ years of experience, we have learned a lot about our customers’ assumptions about mainframe migrations. One of the biggest myths we encounter is that problems with migration are inevitable.

We are here to tell you that this is not the case. PSR’s migrations are flawless every time. If you are curious, you can read more about our methods in this blog post about disruption-free migrations.

Now, that’s not to say problems can’t happen. There are plenty of mainframe migration pitfalls that can cause issues, including:

  • Overlooked, yet important, applications
  • Overkill (purchasing more capacity that you need)
  • Application or hardware misalignment (The new solution can’t accommodate legacy or proprietary applications, operating systems, or workloads.)

Most companies will experience one, or maybe two, major migrations in a 10-year span. It’s easy to see how an organization can miss some aspect of migration planning, since it is such a rare occurrence.

Planning and Experience Make All the Difference

We are able to avoid pitfalls and execute perfect migrations because our experience has taught us what to look for and how to carry out an uneventful migration. Before you bring your data and workloads to us, we’ll make sure that they will transition seamlessly.

Infrastructure Assessment

Here are the things we look for when we assess infrastructure in preparation for a possible move into a hosted mainframe environment:

  • Network capabilities
  • Technology for backup and recovery
  • Databases

If your infrastructure is fairly current, we perform an evaluation to ensure that our environment can mimic your current environment. Two of the factors that we consider are:

  • Disc geometry
  • Disaster recovery setup

Upgrade Your Disaster Recovery Program

Many customers come to us because components of their mainframe environments are outdated. For example, a significant number of businesses still rely on magnetic tape backup. There are newer backup and recovery options that are much better than magnetic tape, including virtual tape and a secondary backup location.

We can often improve our customers’ disaster recovery posture by hosting their environment in our backup data facility. Our customers trust us with their data. Since we’re capable of a flawless migration into our hosted environment, we can certainly be trusted to move it into our disaster recovery center.

And there’s another way that we help customers improve their mainframe disaster recovery program. If a disaster ever strikes, you have the support of PSR’s backup and recovery experts. Every customer with a service plan from PSR is given a primary point of contact and a backup. If an issue ever occurs, you will call a person, not a help desk. If your contact person is away, you will reach someone who knows your account and is available to help you.

Business Assessment

We don’t just look at solutions from a technology perspective; we also evaluate the business case. We want to make sure it is a net positive for your business. At every point, we will be honest. If we don’t have the right solution for your situation, we’ll tell you.

Capital Investment vs. Subscription

When you purchase a mainframe, you have to pay for it as a capital expense. In doing so, you run the risk of overkill, which decreases the business value of your investment. A hosted mainframe solution is a more flexible investment. You can control the amount you spend on technology and pay for it as a monthly expense.

We can offer this kind of business value through the economy of scale. We focus on nothing but mainframes, and we pride ourselves on providing secure, reliable hosted mainframe environments for our customers. Customers benefit from our collective expertise and purchasing power.

Speak with a PSR mainframe expert to explore the benefits of a hosted mainframe environment for your enterprise.