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Announcing a new preview program: Self-service provisioning of z/OS middleware

By Haley Fung posted Tue February 07, 2023 08:08 PM


Clients need their mainframe to be managed in the same way as other platforms, with their developers leveraging open tooling, standards, and self-service capabilities in production and non-production environments.

We have noticed that middleware provisioning on z/OS® can present clients with a set of business challenges, where speed across development, test, and production requirements can be slow. This is often caused by a lack of skills required for some z/OS tooling, which can result in an inability to perform what appears to be a complex task.

To combat this business challenge, we are pleased to release a preview trial for self-service provisioning of IBM Information Management System (IMSTM), on z/OS, from the Red Hat® OpenShift® Container Platform (OCP), which we believe will be the beginning of a transformed middleware provisioning experience for our clients.

IBM today provides a number of Operator collections that can automate IBM zSystems® directly from OCP.  These Operator collections, leverage the Red Hat® Ansible® open source Operator Framework and Software Development Toolkit (Operator SDK), and can be used with the z/OS Cloud Broker component of the IBM Z and Cloud Modernization Stack to provide a set of prebuilt capabilities, enabling  users to integrate z/OS infrastructure with hybrid cloud environments, standardize IT automation for z/OS, and manage z/OS resources statefully in Kubernetes clusters. This extendable framework enables clients to create their own automation to manage and host on OpenShift®

Middleware provisioning with operator collections preview program

In this preview program, you will get a hands-on provisioning experience with a middleware Operator collection, namely for IMS, to

  • Enable cloud administrators and IMS system programmers to expose and configure IMS resources in the OCP catalog
  • Provision an IMS system with a one-click, repeatable self-service automation directly from OCP 

Potential use case

Here is one example to help you to see how the capabilities of the preview could transform the z/OS middleware provisioning experience in your shop today: 

Your development team may need to quickly reproduce a z/OS environment for testing a new application which requires provisioning various z/OS resources including middleware systems like CICS®, Db2®,  and IMS. Your middleware administrator can use the IMS Operator collection to create pre-configured IMS systems in the OCP catalog. Your development team can then self-provision the desired and preconfigured environments from OCP.

Value generated

By abstracting the complexity of certain z/OS tasks and providing access to them via OCP, you can benefit from a self-service automation experience for the z/OS users that had previously been waiting on others to complete required tasks. This empowers the developers to interact directly with mainframe resources without the need for any deep mainframe skills. It can create a more consistent systems management experience in development and test environments, accelerating time to market and delivery of new development features.

Figure 1: Self-service provisioning IMS system from Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform

Register for the preview program

This preview program is now available to clients for an early experience of provisioning middleware.


  • The preview program is offered at no charge and with no installation is needed
  • z/OS and IMS knowledge is preferred, but not required. 


What you can expect: 

  • A hands-on collaborative session with an IBM provided environment that enables you to preview middleware provisioning with IMS.
  • Experience the value the solution can bring to your business.
  • Provide feedback to IBM and the opportunity to help influence and shape future IBM products.

To learn more about and sign up for the preview program, please register here.