Microsoft and Kyndryl partner on mainframe pipeline to Azure

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Microsoft and Kyndryl partner on mainframe pipeline to Azure
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Microsoft and Kyndryl partner on mainframe pipeline to Azure

Global infrastructure services provider Kyndryl Thursday unveiled a new strategic relationship with Microsoft last week, under which the two companies have worked together to create data pipelines between IBM iSeries and zSeries computers, Kyndryl's mainframe-focused zCloud platform and Microsoft Azure.

With the new relationship, Kyndryl is making it easy to run mission-critical workloads currently existing on mainframe hardware and the multi-tenant zCloud using the Microsoft Power Platform, said Petra Goude, global practice leader for Core Enterprise and zCloud at New York-based Kyndryl.

The Microsoft Power Platform allows the use of Microsoft applications such as Power BI, Power Apps, Power Automate and Power Virtual agents with low-code and no-code tools.

See also 'Unleashed from IBM' - An interview with Kyndryl UK/I chief Tosca Colangeli

"There are still a lot of customers running mainframes for their mission-critical applications," Goude told CRN. "We are launching a new data pipe between the mainframe and Microsoft Power Platform so customers can extrapolate data out of their mainframes in an easy way."

The new data pipes from Kyndryl,  allow that data to be used by applications running on Azure without physically moving the data, Goude said.

"Mainframes are typically used for the most critical data and workloads," she said. "People want to modernise their applications, but they can't move the data because of governance and regulatory concerns in many cases. They want to connect to the data using Microsoft Power tools to utilise assets on the mainframes. And we make it happen."

With the new data pipes, customers can work with data on IBM's Z family of mainframes as well as IBM's i series Power Systems using the same best practices, Goude said.

For Kyndryl, the IBM mainframe business is an important one, said Kyndryl CEO Martin Schroeter. In addition to being a close channel partner of IBM, Kyndryl is also IBM's largest customer.

"We manage more than half the mainframes, which means we also play a very important role in how customers experience the IBM mainframe platform and other things," Schroeter said.

Goude said the potential market for Kyndryl's new mainframe and zCloud data pipes is big, as thousands of customers continue to run on IBM mainframes.

"Kyndryl is helping customers run 6.2 million MIPS' worth of mainframe power, and other customers run their own mainframes as well," she said. "We are looking at how to help customers take advantage of Z and i systems. Some workloads are best run on mainframes, but others can be run on hyperscaler clouds. We help integrate this hybrid world."

Kyndryl has over 8,000 employees working on the company's Z and i business, she said.

The new data pipe technology, which was developed together with Microsoft, will be shown at this week's Microsoft Ignite conference.

Kyndryl is focused on its Microsoft Azure relationship given that the two companies jointly developed the new data pipe technology, she said.

Goude said she was unable to say if or when Kyndryl might offer a similar technology for other hyperscalers such as Amazon Web Services or Google Cloud Platform.

A version of this article first appeared on Computing's sister title CRN.

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