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The Arcati Mainframe Yearbook 2021

By Trevor Eddolls posted Wed October 14, 2020 06:38 AM

Arcati Mainframe Yearbook

The Arcati Mainframe Yearbook has been the de facto reference work for IT professionals working with z/OS (and its forerunner) systems since 2005. The Yearbook includes: an annual user survey; an up-to-date directory of vendors, consultants, and service providers; a guide to useful sources of mainframe-related information; a mainframe strategy section with papers on mainframe trends and directions; a glossary of terminology; and a mainframe evolution section. Each year, the Yearbook is downloaded by over 21,000 mainframe professionals. The current issue is still available at

How do you know what's really going on at other mainframe sites? One answer, each year, is to read the annual mainframe users’ survey published in the Arcati Mainframe Yearbook. If you're prepared to give up 10 minutes of your time to complete a survey form, we will send you a FREE copy of the survey results before they are published in January. As in previous years, we’re inviting all mainframe professionals to complete the annual user survey, which is up and running at The more users who complete the survey, the more accurate a picture of what's happening in the mainframe world we can produce, and therefore the more useful the survey report will be.

For example, when looking at what’s new (or, perhaps more correctly, what appears on a lot of PowerPoint slides), last year’s survey found that that only six percent of sites are already using Big Data, with a further 13 percent planning to use it. A fifth of sites are already using DevOps, with a further third planning to use it. And nearly a quarter of sites are already using APIs with a further 41 percent planning to do so. Blockchain has been in the news a lot, but no sites reported currently using it, although nine percent are planning to use it. With Docker, we found that 23 percent of respondents were already using it with eight percent at the planning stage. When it comes to Web-enabling subsystems, we found that 80 percent of organizations were Web-enabling Db2; 75 percent were Web-enabling their CICS subsystems; and 30 percent of sites were Web-enabling IMS and 30 percent were Web-enabling WebSphere. In contrast, only eight percent of sites already use Liberty, with eight percent planning to install it.

Perhaps not surprisingly, 100 percent of respondents highlighted availability as one of the mainframe’s benefits. This was followed by 85 percent highlighting the benefit of the security on a mainframe. 70 percent identified manageability as a benefit, with a further 60 percent picking scalability as a mainframe benefit.

Linux is often in the news, so it was interesting to see what our respondents had to say about it. Just under half of respondents said that they run Linux on the IBM Z, with another 11 percent at the planning stage. There are considerable cost and management benefits from consolidating distributed Linux workloads onto the mainframe. However, 65 percent of respondents weren’t interested in LinuxONE mainframes, and no-one said they already had one, with 29 percent expecting to get one at some time in the future. But, no sites in the survey said their primary operating system was Linux.

Zowe, the open-source way of accessing mainframes, was introduced in 2018. None of the sites in the survey were already using this new technology, and only nine percent are planning to. I wonder whether usage will grow over the next few years?

So, very shortly, many mainframe professionals will receive an e-mail telling them that we have started work on the 2021 edition of the Arcati Mainframe Yearbook. If you don’t hear from us, then e-mail and we will add you to our mailing list. All respondents completing a survey before Friday 27 November will receive a FREE PDF copy of the survey results. The identity and company information of all respondents is treated in confidence and will never be divulged to third parties. And any comments made by respondents will be anonymized before publication. If you go online for user group meetings or conferences, or just chat to mainframers from other sites, please pass on the word about this survey. We’re hoping that this year’s user survey will be the most comprehensive survey ever. Current estimates suggest that there are somewhere between 3,000 and 4,000 mainframes in use world-wide.

Anyone reading this who works for a vendor, consultant, or service provider, can ensure their company gets a FREE entry in the vendor directory section by completing the form, which is at This form can also be used to amend last year’s entry.

Also, as in previous years, there is an opportunity for organizations to sponsor the Yearbook or take out a half-page advertisement. Half-page adverts (5.5in x 8.5in max landscape) costs $970 (UK£750 or €830 Euros). To put that cost into perspective: for every dollar you spend on an advert, you reach around 25 mainframe professionals.

Sponsors get a full-page advert (11in x 8.5in) in the Yearbook; inclusion of a corporate paper in the Mainframe Strategy section of the Yearbook; a logo/link on the Yearbook download page on the Arcati website; and a brief text ad in the Yearbook publicity e-mails sent to users. All this for just $2490 (UK£1990 or €2220 Euros). To put that cost into perspective: for every dollar you spend on sponsorship, you reach around 9 mainframe professionals.

Last year’s sponsor were: Broadcom, BMC Software, Compuware, and Model 9. Our advertisers were: Action Software International, DataKinetics, Enterprise Systems Associates, Inc (ESAi), Fujitsu, Key Resources Inc, Software AG, Software Diversified Services, and Tone Software.

Vendors, consultants, and service providers need to complete our survey form to get their free entry in the Yearbook as soon as possible. Also, they need to let me know, either by email or by ticking the appropriate box at the end of the survey (at, whether they wish to advertise in or sponsor the Arcati Mainframe Yearbook 2021. All entries need to be with us by Friday 27 November.

Clearly, not an opportunity to be missed. The Arcati Mainframe Yearbook 2021 will be freely available for download early in January next year. Let me thank, in advance, everyone who will help to make the new Yearbook such a success.