IDC White Paper: Lozen Offers a New and Efficient Paradigm for Mainframe Data Access

IDC’s worldwide infrastructure practice recently conducted a study to assess the current state of mainframe data access.

Their research shows increasing demand for data access, along with soaring costs associated with Extract, Transform, Load (ETL) and other legacy data access methods.

The IDC white paper — titled “Eliminate the Sky-Rocketing Costs of ETL and Expedite Application Migrations with Real-Time Read/Write Data Access*” and sponsored by VirtualZ Computing — substantiates the need for low-cost, easy-to-use, real-time, read-write access to data residing on IBM zSystems by applications running in the cloud or on distributed platforms.

Among the key findings:

  • Huge demand for mainframe data, led by migrations.
    • Organizations are experiencing rapid growth in data access demands due to the increasing number of projects involving application migration, mainframe modernization, and digital transformation.
    • A significant percentage of cloud and distributed applications need access to data on the mainframe. For example, 36% of packaged SaaS or cloud applications require mainframe data access, as do 41% of commercial on-premises or desktop applications and 46% of ported IBM zSystems applications.
    • 5% of businesses say they have partners or other external organizations that require access to their mainframe data.
  • Mainframe data access is critical to the success of modernization and application migration projects.
    • 44% of businesses (including 53.3% of large companies) have mainframe applications they would like to move off the mainframe but cannot due to a range of inhibitors. 41% said the biggest inhibitor is the fact that the applications operate in real-time using shared data that resides on the mainframe.
    • Professionals that help businesses migrate their mainframe applications to the cloud are also seeing mainframe data access as a major inhibitor.
    • Nearly 20% of businesses say they started a mainframe application migration in the past but abandoned it. The most common reasons?
      • The result would have lacked the security, manageability, reliability, or performance characteristics required
      • The app needs access to mainframe data
    • Desire for a more efficient approach.
      • Organizations are using a variety of IBM zSystems data access approaches, but many of these methods fall short.
      • Organizations spend a significant amount of time and money writing and maintaining custom code to manually extract static, out-of-sync data using ETL, FTP, and/or APIs. Oftentimes the data is out of date the moment it leaves the mainframe.  And the complexities of moving the application as well as the data can take years and cost millions of dollars.
      • As such, legacy data access approaches can be complicated, wasteful, and cost-intensive, sometimes resulting in failed migrations or abandoned initiatives. And they still leave businesses running on static data that is out of sync and out of date — in an era when real-time data access and agility are critical to their business.
    • Cost is a major factor.
      • One of the main reasons organizations migrate applications is for cost reduction.
      • However, legacy data access approaches like ETL are driving costs up.
        • On average, ETL consumes 8.4% of general processor MIPS on the mainframe.
        • The average annual cost of an organization’s MIPS consumption for ETL alone is $680,000.
        • This is further compounded by other cost components like the operating expenses involved with writing custom code and/or developing complex change data capture (CDC) routines, the ongoing maintenance of these tools, and various other expenses.
      • When ETL is simplified or removed altogether, fees for running the mainframe are driven down. But many organizations find themselves locked in place: not because the application is technically difficult to migrate, but because the surrounding complexity and interdependencies can be difficult to unravel.

Introducing Lozen™

“Lozen is highly relevant for any mainframe strategy, whether an organization is aiming to move certain applications off the mainframe… or whether the business intends to remain on the mainframe in the foreseeable future. In either case, an organization can lower costs and expedite mainframe modernization initiatives with Lozen.”

— IDC White Paper, “Eliminate the Sky-Rocketing Costs of ETL and Expedite Application Migrations with Real-Time Read/Write Data Access”


Lozen offers organizations a new and efficient paradigm for mainframe data access.

With Lozen, an application running in the cloud or on a distributed environment that needs access to a record on the mainframe can go directly to that record on the mainframe — in real time, with read-write access, through a low-code, no-code implementation.

Since the data remains on the mainframe, organizations no longer need to develop and maintain costly and complicated techniques to extract data using ETL, FTP, and/or APIs or to re-sync data using CDC and other methods.

Lozen’s approach lets organizations eliminate the skyrocketing costs of legacy methods like ETL and CDC, plus they can leverage Lozen’s zIIP engine architecture for additional cost savings.

“With Lozen, businesses now have the freedom to migrate to the cloud applications that are well suited for the cloud and leave their data safely and securely on the mainframe, with real-time, read-write access. As a result, mainframe, cloud, and distributed applications all have access to the same single source of truth, protected by the security that mainframes deliver.”

— IDC White Paper, “Eliminate the Sky-Rocketing Costs of ETL and Expedite Application Migrations with Real-Time Read/Write Data Access”


Because the data remains resident and in sync on the mainframe, organizations can safely migrate high-impact applications to the cloud and distributed platforms, without risking other applications that depend on that same data.

As a result, organizations can run applications where they are best suited for their business — on the mainframe, in the cloud, or on distributed platforms — while maintaining a single source of truth.

“The result is simplicity, agility, greater security, lower cost, a more integrated mainframe, and revenue-generating opportunities to leverage mainframe data better and faster.”

— IDC White Paper, “Eliminate the Sky-Rocketing Costs of ETL and Expedite Application Migrations with Real-Time Read/Write Data Access”


Next Steps

  • Watch our webinar, where VirtualZ, Microsoft, Micro Focus and a guest speaker from IDC discuss the recent study and how to modernize your environment in a world where mainframe, cloud and distributed applications co-exist with low-cost, easy-to-use, real-time, read-write access to mainframe data.
* Doc# US48927222, March 2022

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