IBM launches new mainframe-as-a-service offering

(Image credit: IBM)

IBM has taken a step towards offering mainframes-as-a-service with the announcement of an expansion of its Z-series mainframes on the IBM Cloud.

According to IBM, the benefits are clear: increasing performance, accelerating DevOps, and reducing the need for specialised skills. 

In real terms, IBM says these changes have reduced the time it takes to access z/OS development and test environments from days (or even weeks) to around six minutes. Using IBM Cloud for z/OS development is 15x faster than an x86 environment. 

Silver linings 

"Available as a closed experimental today, 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," says IBM.

According to estimates, IBM has around 4% of the overall cloud market, well below Google Cloud (10%), Azure (21%), and AWS (33%). 

While 4% isn't too bad – it's ahead of Salesforce (3%), Tencent (3%), and Oracle (2%), but behind Alibaba (6%) – it represents a decline for the company that practically invented the mainframe computer. 

Of course, being first doesn't mean you're going to success (just look at Microsoft and mobile) but IBM has squandered an advantage that would've stood it in good stead during this wave of computing, when data centres are king.  

Max Slater-Robins has been writing about technology for nearly a decade at various outlets, covering the rise of the technology giants, trends in enterprise and SaaS companies, and much more besides. Originally from Suffolk, he currently lives in London and likes a good night out and walks in the countryside.