Mainframes in the Cloud?
Almost! Micro Focus just deployed a managed mainframe emulation environment that runs on top of Amazon EC2. The beauty of this environment is that you can execute CICS or IMS code in the cloud, essentially unmodified. Micro Focus innovation has three significant benefits: (a) your existing code investment is protected, (b) costs are much, much lower than an in-house mainframe, and (c) the application execution environment is managed, complete with the same sort of service level agreements that are expected in the mainframe world.
Mark Haynie, the Micro Focus CTO of Application Modernization, says that in his opinion Cloud computing is about services, not languages. Since Micro Focus Enterprise Cloud Services allows COBOL CICS and IMS applications run in the cloud as easily as they run in on-premises datacenter, the consumer of those services will not know or care what language they were written in.
The announcement is about more than bringing mainframe applications to the Amazon Cloud. In my opinion, it is also another example of an entire ISV ecosystem that is cloud-enabled. Because Micro Focus own development community is supported by Enterprise Cloud Services, there is a new business opportunity for many developers that blends tradition with innovation. Its easy to forget that mainframes are at the core of many enterprises; and for that reason I believe that interest will be significant. You can learn more at cloudservices.microfocus.com.