Mark Cresswell, CEO of LzLab

Mark Cresswell, CEO of LzLab

Swiss software start-up LzLabs is collaborating with Cobol-IT to deliver the world’s “first” software-defined mainframe, designed to move legacy mainframe applications and data to open Linux server and cloud platforms.

Cobol-IT will act as an integrated software provider for the solution as it is implemented for LzLabs’ customers across the world.

Announced at CeBIT 2016, LzLabs says it is still undergoing clinical trials with ten companies, but the solution will be offered to customers both for use within their own datacentres running on Red Hat Linux-based computers and for deployment via the Microsoft Azure cloud platform.

The software defined mainframe has been five years in the making and if the testing goes well, LzLabs plans to launch it later this year.

In an interview with Banking Technology in March with Mark Cresswell, CEO of LzLabs; he said traditional mainframes are “eye-wateringly expensive”, but its new software concept enables customer mainframe applications to run inside a software defined mainframe.

LzLabs says its new environment works without forcing recompilations of Cobol or PL/1 application programs or making “complex” changes to the enterprise business environment.

However, should a customer intend to make changes to its Cobol applications, Cobol-IT’s customised compiler provides a solution – and LzLabs will incorporate this into its software-defined mainframe.

LzLabs says this enables companies to migrate, deploy and maintain their legacy Cobol applications on “all forms of open software”, including Windows, HP-UX, Solaris, AIX, Linux and zLinux.