Open-source software development will be a key component to keeping the mainframe a vibrant part of current and future enterprise architectures.\nWith that in mind the Open Mainframe Project, part of the Linux Foundation, this week said at its Open Mainframe Summit that it was forming a working group to promote mainframe-modernization efforts and that it had acqured its own Big Iron to spur future development.\n\nThe working group will create a common definition and framework defining what mainframe modernization should look like and promote open-source development on the Big Iron.\nThe new group will focus on the term modernization, which it says is used to mean different things and so is causing confusion. Some define modernization as moving away from mainframes and COBOL, and others defineiit as updating existing systems in place.\nThe group includes Broadcom Mainframe Software, IBM, Micro Focus, Model9, Rocket Software, SUSE, and Vicom Infinity. Among its goals:\n\nCollaborating on a common definition of mainframe modernization.\nCreating a framework through which all vendors can highlight their modernization options.\nCreating one go-to place for information about mainframe modernization.\nIdentifying opportunities for future Open Mainframe projects to enable modernization.\n\nIn addition to the new working group, the Open Mainframe Project now has an actual mainframe to work with. Project leaders said that Broadcom\u2019s Mainframe Software Division had donated a IBM z15 mainframe system that will be dedicated to training next-generation talent and developing new open-software technologies.\n\u201cWe saw a special opportunity to lift the open-mainframe ecosystem to a new level. The donation of the z15 mainframe is an important investment that will accelerate projects, skills, growth, and open innovation for the mainframe community,\u201d said Greg Lotko, senior vice president and general manager, of Broadcom\u2019s Mainframe Software Division in a statement.\nWith more than 20 current projects and working groups, multiple technical communities\u00a0 need mainframe hardware to test open-source code.\nThe z15, which will be hosted at Marist College, helps support those projects and also equips the groups to build use cases. It will also be available as a development, test, and continuous-delivery environment for open-source projects, and enable developers\u00a0 to\u00a0 support both z\/OS and Linux on s390x, according to Lotko.\nIn addition, the z15 can be used in mainframe-skills training. The Mainframe Open Education and COBOL Working Group are now positioned to offer a real-world environment to prepare learners as they transition to full-time careers in the mainframe industry, said John Mertic, director of program management at the Linux Foundation.\nFor years, Linux and open source have been cited as keeping mainframes vital with the development of new applications.\nMost recently IBM introduced the fourth generation of its LinuxOne servers, featuring the same Telum processor found in the System Z mainframe. The \u00a0IBM LinuxONE Emperor 4 server only runs Linux-based workloads and is tailored to meet the needs of Linux workloads in the data center.\u00a0\nIn addition, Linux-based workloads running on a Z series will be portable to the Emperor server, which can run Red Hat, SuSe, and Canonical Linux distributions.\nFor its part, The Open Mainframe Project earlier this year released version 2 of its Zowe framework for securely developing z\/OS cloud applications and tools.\nVersion 2 featured improvements including embedded security and performance improvements for its command-line interface.