The Mainframe-to-Cloud Wave has Arrived, and Treehouse Software is Helping Customers Begin the Ride!

by Joseph Brady, Director of Business Development / AWS and Cloud Alliance Lead at Treehouse Software and Andy Jones, Certified AWS Solutions Architect at Treehouse Software

There are many pioneering organizations with mainframe systems that have already begun their movement to the Cloud, and are now taking advantage of the new and powerful technologies delivering significant business benefits and competitive advantage, including:

Trade Capital Expense for Variable Expense – Instead of having to invest heavily in data centers and servers before you know how you’re going to use them, you can pay only when you consume computing resources, and pay only for how much you consume. https://aws.amazon.com/pricing/

Global Deployments – The AWS Cloud spans 22 geographic regions globally. Enterprises can easily deploy applications in multiple regions around the world with just a few clicks. This means you can provide lower latency and a better experience for your customers at minimal cost. https://aws.amazon.com/about-aws/global-infrastructure/regions_az/

Economies to Scale – By using Cloud computing, you can achieve a lower variable cost than you can get on your own, because usage from hundreds of thousands of customers is aggregated in the Cloud, providers such as AWS can achieve higher economies of scale, which translates into lower pay as-you-go prices. https://aws.amazon.com/economics/

Scale of Services – Amazon Web Services offers a broad set of global Cloud-based products including compute, storage, databases, analytics, networking, mobile, developer tools, management tools, IoT, security, and enterprise applications. These services help organizations move faster, lower IT costs, and scale. https://aws.amazon.com/products/

World Class Security – AWS security compliance is second to none and complies with the most stringent government and private sector requirements. https://aws.amazon.com/compliance/programs/

Extreme High Availability (HA) – The AWS Cloud spans 69 Availability Zones within 22 geographic Regions around the world https://aws.amazon.com/about-aws/global-infrastructure/regions_az/.  By designing your services and applications to be redundant across AWS availability zones or regions, HA is enhanced far beyond a single on premises data center. https://aws.amazon.com/marketplace/solutions/infrastructure-software/high-availability 

Testing at Scale – AWS servers and services can be created and charged on demand for a specific amount of time.  This allows customer to create temporary large-scale test environments prior to deployment that are not practical for on premises environments.  Large scale testing reduces deployment risks and helps to provide a better customer experience. https://aws.amazon.com/  

Auto Scaling and Serverless Deployments – AWS has many serverless and autoscaling options available, allowing for scalable computing capacity as required.  For example, AWS Lambda lets you run code without provisioning or managing servers. You pay only for the compute time you consume – there is no charge when your code is not running. Another example is Amazon Aurora Serverless, which is an on-demand, auto-scaling configuration for Amazon Aurora (MySQL-compatible edition), where the database will automatically start up, shut down, and scale capacity up or down based on your application’s needs. https://aws.amazon.com/serverless/

Customer Agility and Innovation – In a Cloud computing environment, new IT resources are only a click away, which means that you reduce the time to make those resources available to your developers from weeks to just minutes. This results in a dramatic increase in agility for the organization, since the cost and time it takes to experiment and develop is significantly lower. https://aws.amazon.com/architecture/

Infrastructure as Code – AWS CloudFormation provides a common language for you to describe and provision all the infrastructure resources in your Cloud environment. CloudFormation allows you to use programming languages or a simple text file to model and provision, in an automated and secure manner, all the resources needed for your applications across all regions and accounts. This gives you a single source of truth for your AWS resources. https://aws.amazon.com/cloudformation/ 

However, compared to the number of mainframe shops in enterprises that are just beginning to plan their moves to the Cloud, existing adopters’ numbers are still relatively small.

As an example of the current boom in overall Cloud growth, the worldwide public sector Cloud market will be growing to a staggering $331B by 2022 according to Gartner. By the end of 2019, more than 30% of technology providers’ new software investments will shift from Cloud-first to Cloud-only, further reducing license-based software spending and increasing subscription-based Cloud revenue. (Source: Forbes) 

Treehouse Software is a Trusted Partner on Your Mainframe-to-Cloud Journey

Treehouse Software is a well-established company serving mainframe customers since 1982. We are currently developing a strong presence in the emerging Cloud market space related to mainframe data migration, primarily through our partnership with Amazon Web Services (AWS).  AWS is aware that most large enterprises use mainframe systems that are housing vast amounts of data encompassing historical, customer, logistics, etc., and they have helped us bring our tcVISION solution to the AWS Marketplace. tcVISION provides real-time replication between a variety of mainframe and non-mainframe sources, including (Mainframe): VSAM, IMS, Db2, CA Datacom, Adabas, CA IDMS, and Flat Files; and (Non-mainframe): AWS RDS databases, AWS Aurora, AWS S3, AWS Kinesis,  PostgreSQL, MySQL, Kafka, MongoDB, Hadoop, Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, IBM Db2 LUW and Db2 BLU, IBM Informix, SAP Hana, and many more. 

AWS sales and technical leaders within various verticals (GovCloud, Nonprofit, K12/Higher Ed, Automotive, etc.) are also beginning to engage with Treehouse Software to learn more about our unique skills and solution that can help them tap into this potential goldmine of massive amounts of legacy data that needs to be moved to AWS. 

Treehouse Software Helps Customers Begin Moving Their Mainframe Data to the Cloud Immediately

Treehouse Software specializes in providing data replication for enterprise customers who want a fully developed and automated way to move data from their mainframe systems to the Cloud. Treehouse Software’s tcVISION is a low risk option that allows customers to immediately begin moving data to the Cloud while they work on the sometimes massive complexity of application migration. Our experience has shown that projects can become stalled while the application side is being figured out. For example, Treehouse Software recently became involved in a project with a government agency that was facing the complexity of a “big bang” migration, which is slowing the project. We are now presenting them with our tcVISION data replication solution option, where they can replicate data to AWS while maintaining their current environment for modernization and migration of their applications. 

Additionally, Treehouse Software’s decades of experience developing software and working in the IBM mainframe environment, in addition to selling and supporting a comprehensive automated data replication product, is making us a desirable partner for AWS and many Cloud migration companies.  

AWS recently published a blog about tcVISION, our Mainframe-to-Cloud data replication product: https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/apn/real-time-mainframe-data-replication-to-aws-with-tcvision-from-treehouse-software/ 

Additionally, here is a blog about Treehouse Software’s extensive mainframe experience: https://treehousesoftware.wordpress.com/2019/09/12/treehouse-softwares-differentiator-weve-been-helping-enterprise-mainframe-sites-since-1982/


If your enterprise is planning on riding the wave with a Mainframe-to-Cloud migration project, we would welcome the opportunity to help get you moving immediately with an online presentation and demonstration of our tcVISION data replication solution. Contact Treehouse Software today!

Treehouse Software’s Differentiator: We’ve Been Helping Enterprise Mainframe Sites Since 1982

by Joseph Brady, Director of Business Development / AWS and Cloud Alliance Lead at Treehouse Software, Inc. 

Treehoue_Mainframe_Experience

This blog explores Treehouse Software‘s decades worth of experience in helping mainframe customers with innovative tools, services, and training. 

When Treehouse Software began in 1982, the business focused on software that was complementary to the Software AG mainframe product line (Adabas database management system and Natural programming language) in the areas of security, control, auditing, performance enhancement, etc.

In more recent years, Treehouse Software has become a global leader in providing solutions for real-time and bi-directional data replication between a variety of mainframe and non-mainframe sources, including (Mainframe): VSAM, IMS, Db2, CA Datacom, Adabas, and CA IDMS; and (Non-mainframe): Amazon Web Services (AWS), PostgreSQL, Oracle, Microsoft Azure, Microsoft SQL Server, IBM Db2 LUW and Db2 BLU, IBM Informix, Kafka, MongoDB, Hadoop, SAP Hana, and many more. Here is our list of supported data sources and targets.

Decades Worth of Mainframe Knowledge…

When asked by prospective customers, “What are your primary differentiators?”, we can be tempted to first talk about superior product features and capabilities, but it is Treehouse Software’s depth of knowledge and experience in the mainframe world that is the real game changer.

Most mainframe users face critical data management challenges due to the complexity and proprietary nature of deeply entrenched databases on the platform. Our extensive experience, deep knowledge, and wide-ranging capabilities in mainframe technologies make the company a valued partner for third-party solution providers and a trusted advisor to customers.

Treehouse Software’s visionary leadership in this market has included pioneering Adabas-to-RDBMS ETL and CDC with tRelational/DPS in the mid-1990s.  Today, Treehouse Software stands alone in its product maturity, and capability, including expanded capabilities with the tcVISION product, which enables migration and synchronization of virtually any mainframe or non-mainframe database or data source.

Despite the rapid pace of change in the IT landscape, Treehouse Software’s customer base can be assured that there remains a strong commitment to providing continued support and upgrades for the product suite.

Treehouse Software provides tools and expertise for the riskiest and most-often overlooked parts of modernization and integration projects – data migration and integration.   Tapping into the vast experience of Treehouse’s technicians, and using proven products and services eliminates reliance on end-customer programming staff to write and maintain data extracts and middleware. Treehouse Software’s know-how reduces cost and mitigates risk in legacy modernization initiatives, where data migration and integration complexity is often underestimated, yet critical to success.

Our Mainframe Experts are Our Best Assets

We are fortunate to have a staff with a wealth of knowledge and skills that span not only Mainframe, but Cloud, LUW, and Open Systems technologies. Whether a customer wants to move data from their mainframe platform to other on-premises open systems or LUW databases, or to the Cloud (e.g., AWS, Azure, etc.), Treehouse Software has the technical expertise and support needed to ensure successful project completion.

Treehouse Software‘s technicians have installed products and trained end-users in some of the largest mainframe sites around the world.  Mature, robust, and reliable, these products are also backed by our highly-rated 24X7 technical support.

The Treehouse Team Approach

TechniciansConnectivity

Treehouse Software has proven its ability to partner and work effectively as part of a larger team to solve client problems.  AWS, Microsoft, Oracle, Accenture, and other large vendors have selected our technology, services, and training for their mainframe data migration and application modernization practices.


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Contact Treehouse Software for a Product Demo Today…

Just fill out the Treehouse Software Product Demonstration Request Form and a Treehouse representative will contact you to set up a time for your online product demonstration.

Treehouse Software TREETIP: Data Replication for a Mainframe Database that has no Primary Key, using tcVISION

by Joseph Brady, Director of Business Development / AWS and Cloud Alliance Lead at Treehouse Software, Inc. and Chris Rudolph, Senior Technical Representative at Treehouse Software, Inc.

This blog takes a look at tcVISION’s support for a mainframe database that has no primary key at the source (a mainframe primary key is a column, or set of columns that uniquely identifies one row of a table). 

In situations where the source database does not contain any unique values, Treehouse technicians discuss with the customer how the application currently works and their expectations for how the data should be treated when planning replication/migration to a new target environment. Depending on the application, Journal Replication or Data Warehouse Replication may be a better fit than a “normal” RDBMS table definition.

tcVISION‘s Key ID management can be used to create a column to use as the key on the target table. Another option would be to use a SQL Lookup to query another table. Either way, target column(s) that contain unique values will need to be identified. Once these columns are identified, they can be marked with the key identifier, using the tcVISION repository editor, or Key ID Management can be used to create a new unique column, then those columns are used within the wizard.

For example, this source table does not contain a primary key:

___tcV_NoKey01

Analysis of the target data shows the columns FIRST_NAME, LAST_NAME and MIDDLE_NAME together will provide a unique value. These fields can be marked in the tcVISION repository as being members of a key:

___tcV_NoKey02

As mentioned earlier, the tcVISION Key ID Management wizard can also be used to create a new unique target column:

___tcV_NoKey03

Specify the key name:

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Specify the key value creation:

___tcV_NoKey05

Various options are available: 

___tcV_NoKey06


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Contact Treehouse Software for a Demo Today…

tcVISION_Overall_Diagram

No matter where you want your mainframe data to go – the cloud, open systems, or any LUW target – tcVISION from Treehouse Software is your answer.

Just fill out the Treehouse Software Product Demonstration Request Form and a Treehouse representative will contact you to set up a time for your online tcVISION demonstration.


Further reading: tcVISION Mainframe data replication is featured on the AWS Partner Network Blog…

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AWS recently published a blog about tcVISION’s Mainframe data replication capabilities, including a technical overview, security, high availability, scalability, and a step-by-step example of the creation of tcVISION metadata and scripts for replicating mainframe Db2 z/OS data to Amazon Aurora. Read the blog here: AWS Partner Network (APN) Blog: Real-Time Mainframe Data Replication to AWS with tcVISION from Treehouse Software.

Treehouse Software Customer Success: Data Replication from Mainframe Adabas to PostgreSQL using tcVISION

BMF_Building

The Bundesministerium der Finanzen (BMF) is Germany’s Ministry of Finance and establishes sustainable fiscal policy that ensures financial empowerment of the federal budget. From tax policy via development of federal budget, to regulation of national and international financial markets – for these and other fiscal and economic questions of principle, the BMF creates strategies and concepts, and implements them. The Federal Tax Administration is part of BMF, and controls not only the cross-border goods traffic, but acts against illegal employment and other crimes. The tax administration also imposes consumer taxes (e.g., energy and tobacco tax, car tax, etc.). Financial relations between federation, countries, and communities are also coordinated by BMF.

Department II (federal budget) is part of the German government in charge of establishing the budget and financial planning of the federation. Throughout the year, it monitors execution of the budget for eventual intervention (e.g., with a budget freeze, or supplementary budget). After closing the fiscal year, the budget and balance sheet will be presented. The budget is a supplement of the budget act, legally binding.

The central service organization of BMF is the Informationstechnikzentrum Bund – ITZBund (Information technic center).

BUSINESS BACKGROUND

Drawing up the budget is a yearly, highly time consuming, and formalized business process. All departments are involved in nearly every sub-process, and budgeting and financial planning is supported by the application, “Haushaltsaufstellung / Budgetgeneration”. Using the generated reports, various addressees/receivers are supported (e.g., German Federal Government, German Federal Parliament, Federal Council of Germany, finance department in BMF, the employees in the departments, and the public).

Technically, the budget plan of the federation is based on technologies, including the IBM Mainframe with z/OS running Adabas and Natural.

The challenge was to provide an environment for employees in all departments that enables them to do their work quickly, easily, and efficiently. In the BMF, users must have an editorless, end-user driven, and real-time creation of ready-to-print products.
An informative description of the workflow is shown on the website of the BMF.

The federal budget is available as download, or one can directly navigate through the data using the online application.

BUSINESS ISSUE

Some time ago, BMF decided to re-engineer the application for budget planning and port it to Open Source. To guarantee a seamless transition, the first step is propagation of data out of Adabas on z/OS to PostgreSQL, concluding with permanent synchronization.
The difficulties of this task are the complexities of setting up data definitions for the data structures in Natural and the propagation of data from Adabas on z/OS to PostgreSQL.

TECHNOLOGY SOLUTION: tcVISION

tcVISION_Overall_Diagram

After an analysis of the project, Treehouse Software proposed creating an extension to tcVISION’s change data capture (CDC) functionality for integration, so that tcVISION could enable BMF to continue using the implemented data definitions in a format suitable for the RDBMS.

The extension was developed within a few days, and a two-day on premise test demonstrated the solution fit the requirements of BMF.

BMF can now provide its data definitions from Natural LDA to the extension of tcVISION, and after the transformation, onto the PostgreSQL load process for processing. Another advantage of the tcVISION solution is that when needed, other targets can be integrated for propagation of data from the mainframe (e.g., Kafka, which BMF indicated is a future target environment).

Additionally, bi-directional propagation can be added in budget planning when BMF is ready.

Data structures are held in LDA, because this provides the advantages of higher flexibility in development and the adaption of new requirements to the data definitions. If definitions would have to be ported manually, in part, to PostGreSQL, it would have been a much bigger and error-prone effort.

Subsequent changes to Adabas structures can now use tcVISION’s newly developed extension to easily regenerate and load the correct definitions to the RDBMS, and tcVISION completely covers the customer’s requirements for special usage of *PEs and *MUs.

After thorough preparation and extensive testing, the solution was released to selected users first, then made available to all users.

* PEs and MUs are special Adabas formats for definition of tables. PE = Periodic Group, MU = Multiple Value Field.


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Contact Treehouse Software for a Demo Today…

No matter where you want your mainframe data to go – the cloud, open systems, or any LUW target – tcVISION from Treehouse Software is your answer.

Just fill out the Treehouse Software Product Demonstration Request Form and a Treehouse representative will contact you to set up a time for your online tcVISION demonstration.


Further reading: tcVISION Mainframe data replication is featured on the AWS Partner Network Blog…

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AWS recently published a blog about tcVISION’s Mainframe data replication capabilities, including a technical overview, security, high availability, scalability, and a step-by-step example of the creation of tcVISION metadata and scripts for replicating mainframe Db2 z/OS data to Amazon Aurora. Read the blog here: AWS Partner Network (APN) Blog: Real-Time Mainframe Data Replication to AWS with tcVISION from Treehouse Software.