Open Mainframe Project

John Mertic, Linux Foundation (JM)

Dale Hoffman, IBM (DH)

Berthold Gunreben, SUSE (BG)

Mike Friesenegger, SUSE (MF)

Scott Fagen, CA (SF)

Marcel Mitran, IBM (MM)

JM opened the call at 12:01pm ET.

Each member introduced themselves

JM, Senior Program Manager for the Linux Foundation, helping Scott Nicholas running day-to-day operations of the Open Mainframe Project

DH, responsible for BD and strategy for ecosystem on Linux on IBM System Z

MM, CTO for Linux everywhere strategy for Linux on IBM System Z

SF, CA’s mainframe CTO and architect

BG, runs mainframe for SUSE, also in charge of training

MF, SUSE technical architect for System Z, works with the IBM teams extensively

JM posed the question around a chair election, to follow up via email on a proposal. Rough plan was a 7 day nomination period, followed by a 7 day election period.

Question came up around ADP not being a part of the TSC, and JM found out that ADP has not formally joined the Open Mainframe Project. SF advised that we should find out the timing of that before proceeding with a chair election. DH, BG, MF, and MM agreed.

DH led the discussion on the goals and topics of the group. DH’s belief was that many don’t know what all can be done with Linux on System Z. DH’s said the group should focus on two questions, (1) How can this group proliferate the Linux on System Z message and (2) address the current misconception of mainframe only being suitable for legacy apps.

SF said he sees an internship program as a way to get students engaged. DH said he sees SF’s point, his primary concern was business use-cases but agrees on students being a key. SF said they key thing was to make the work demonstrable.

MM said he’d like to see people to internalize the value of Linux on System Z. MM sees many approaches to this, both finding and prioritizing ideas and methods for using Linux on System Z, as well as engaging the various software stack communities to ensure those apps can run using Linux on System Z.

DH suggested the group brainstorm on ideas, and come up with a list of the top 10 ways mainframe can influence your life and work.

MF spoke from his sales engineering background, and sees both community and business engagement as key to growth. MF proposed the group focus on three key audiences: Students (with Training), Business (direct customer engagement), and Community (projects to help apps run on Linux on System Z). DH and SF agreed.

BG mentioned that often mainframes seem expensive compared to commodity hardware, but don’t realize you get much more in a mainframe for the cost ( you can have a whole datacenter of commodity hardware in a single mainframe ). BG said it would be good to be able to talk about the advantages of mainframe, and have a certification process for apps.

SF cautioned the group on putting too much emphasis on the distinctions between Linux and Linux on System Z, can be more of disservice. MM said IBM tries to eliminate these distinctions, changing branding from Z Linux to Linux on System Z, which helps enforce this.

SF sees the projects of running/validating/fixing apps to run on Linux on System Z as a good internship project. SF said the focus overall should be less on the differences, but recognize while the hardware is different, otherwise all else is the same. DH said that IBM makes available hardware at Marist and Syracuse Universities currently, with universities in Germany and China to have this soon for student access as well.

SF said being able to get console access, much like how students can with VMware, is key. MF said the community focus on the dev side and ops side of the house is important. MM said he needs to think about how to do this. SF said app dev is less of an issue, but ops is.

MM said the goal should be to prove capabilities, and that Linux is Linux is Linux no matter what hardware it’s running on. MM said the group should think about things more from a dev ops perspective. SF said the group should focus on getting things that should work on Linux on System Z working. SF this will eliminate objections to get discussions moving forward. MM mentioned that often people think even Java doesn’t run on Linux on System Z. MM agreed on dev ops focus.

JM stated the goals as he heard them was:

Identify and eliminate objections to mainframe and Linux on System Z

Create more awareness of mainframe and Linux on System Z

Audiences are Students, Companies, and Open source project communities.

MM, DH, BG, SF, and MF all agreed.

MM said he’d like other members of the group to commit their hardware resources as well, and it not all be IBM. SF said he would.

JM talked about the internship options. MM mentioned another option being a bounty source program, and DH asked if this is something the LF could sponsor or advertise.

MM likes the idea of GSoC, DH, BG, SF, and MF all agreed. JM to follow up with more details to the group for the next meeting.

JM asked about meeting cadence. MM, DH, BG, SF, and MF all agreed that every two weeks is good for now. DH also suggested we look into conference meetups if everything aligns. JM to send out recurring invite for every other Thursdays at 12:15p – 1:00pm ET invite for group starting October 15^th^.

Meeting ended at 1:00pm ET.