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Accelerate mainframe application modernization with IBM Z and Cloud Modernization Stack on Microsoft Cloud

By Brett Tanzer, Vice President of Product Management, Azure Core - Microsoft
By Kara Todd, Vice President, IBM zSystems Application Platform - IBM

Today, IBM and Microsoft are announcing the availability of the IBM Z and Cloud Modernization Stack on the Microsoft Azure Marketplace to provide mainframe developers access to modern Azure tools and services for their application modernization needs. This announcement is part of a deep collaboration between Microsoft and IBM to accelerate mainframe application modernization, leveraging the core strengths of IBM Z together with modern cloud services and capabilities available on Microsoft Azure.

With IBM and Microsoft, clients are already accelerating their mainframe application modernization using a hybrid cloud approach. Combining the throughput, availability, and security of IBM Z and the flexibility from the Red Hat open-source solutions with the modern and agile approach brought by Azure DevOps while leveraging integration with the rest of the Microsoft Cloud services, provides customers the opportunity to lower their costs and risk, decrease time-to-market and accelerate growth.

Increase developer velocity

The IBM Z and Cloud Modernization Stack is designed to boost productivity, collaboration and work quality while integrating Azure DevOps capabilities into the application innovation process. This integrated and proven pattern positions clients to augment their development methodologies with agile concepts, common toolsets and best practices, enhancing their abilities to develop, deploy, and manage applications and data quickly across hybrid environments.

Developers can edit and debug z/OS applications with familiar tools on Microsoft Azure while integrating them with an Azure DevOps pipeline. They can quickly spin up development environments with the resources needed for z/OS specific applications while integrating with the Azure DevOps (Azure Repos, Pipelines, Boards, Test Plans, Artifacts) to support a CI/CD pipeline.

To learn more about this collaborative pattern between IBM and Microsoft and the components designed to increase speed, agility, and greater developer productivity when modernizing z/OS applications, check out Azure DevOps for Mainframe Applications using IBM Z and Cloud Modernization Stack.

Simplify access to applications and data

To enhance digital experiences and improve service delivery outcomes, we’ve introduced integration and real-time information sharing between Microsoft Cloud and IBM Z. This can lead to access, from Azure, to applications and data residing on mainframes, without significant changes, positioning developers to extend/manage mainframes while leveraging Azure services by using industry standard APIs.
In the future, the IBM and Microsoft teams plan on releasing content to the IBM Z & LinuxONE Community and Azure Architecture Center to share architecture diagrams and component descriptions enabling this pattern. 

Ready to get started? 

For new clients of the IBM Z and Cloud Modernization Stack, access the Microsoft Azure Marketplace offering of IBM Z and Cloud Modernization Stack here. If you have already purchased the IBM Z and Cloud Modernization Stack from IBM, access the “Bring your own license” listing on the Azure Marketplace here.

Resources to tap into

In order to accelerate the journey and address risk, clients can engage one of IBM and Microsoft's distinguished roster of Global Systems Integrator (GSI) partners, such as IBM Consulting. In partnership with IBM Consulting, clients can untangle complexity to deliver value, rapidly and iteratively as they place applications and data on the platform that fits requirements. The result is an agile and seamlessly integrated hybrid cloud platform with IBM zSystems at the core.