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Modernize Your Mainframe With Confluent on IBM zSystems

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Today, 92% of the world’s top 100 banks and 72% of the top 25 retailers use mainframes to deliver secure, highly reliable data for their customers. Citigroup even estimates that while banks spend over $200 billion a year on IT, nearly 80% of that money goes towards maintaining mainframe-dependent legacy systems. Mainframes continue to power business-critical applications, with more than 70% of Fortune 500 enterprises using mainframes.

However, mainframes weren’t originally designed to interact with today’s cloud-based, customer-facing applications. The rise of cloud and multicloud applications means that mainframe application environments are being tasked to deliver distributed application data in ways never imagined. Over time, challenges have emerged—like how to integrate mainframe operations with cloud-based and other applications, while securely sharing data and operating at peak performance. These challenges include unpredictable consumption costs, siloed data, a shortage of programmer skills, and significant business risk due to years of intricate business logic embedded in traditional application architectures.

As the hybrid computing model has evolved over the last decade, organizations have scrambled to find a solution that can optimize mainframe application performance while keeping up with customer demands.  To address this, Confluent recently launched the IBM MQ Source Premium Connector and IBM MQ Sink Premium Connector to unlock the bi-directional flow of real time data events for the mainframe. With the introduction of these connectors, Confluent aims to empower organizations to process their essential mainframe data in real time to support their strategic priorities.  This could include use cases such as real time inventory management, fraud detection, IoT diagnostics, and analytics, among many more possibilities.

Benefits of modernizing your business-critical applications with Confluent on IBM zSystems

Drive real-time data pipelines with IBM zSystems data

Reduce reliance on batch processing on your IBM zSystems while capturing IBM zSystems data in real-time for fast analytics and business intelligence with minimal latency. Correlate with other data flowing through Confluent to drive the needs of the digital enterprise.

Build modern, resilient streaming applications with mainframe data anywhere

Extend core applications on IBM zSystems with modern, distributed microservices architecture by making the data readily available with Confluent. Link Confluent to any cloud (AWS, Azure, Google Cloud, IBM Cloud) to open up new applications to mainframe data to accelerate application development times.

Increase the ROI of your IBM zSystems investment 

Improve the economics of your mainframe by optimizing costs while also increasing the return on the data. Confluent on z/OS leverages IBM’s zSystems Integrated Information Processor (zIIP) to reduce processing costs and unlock real time events with the Confluent Connectors.  It vastly reduces MQ related networking traffic and CHINIT consumption costs.  This solution enables your mainframe to become a critical piece of your hybrid, real-time data architecture.

Not only can Confluent help you get the most from your mainframes by optimizing consumption costs, but you can also serve new digital and microservices initiatives, mitigate business risk, and future-proof your data architecture.

Hear from our customers

Alight Solutions

Alight Solutions, a leader in technology-enabled health, wealth, and human capital management solutions, recently embarked on an initiative to align the company’s internal organization with its next-generation digital strategy. They faced the challenge of integrating data from numerous back-end systems into a forward cache to improve performance, simplify consumer-facing application development, and reduce demand on costly mainframes. By using Confluent Platform, Alight Solutions was able to implement scalable, secure streaming data pipelines that refresh data in the cache in near real time to streams of plant data. This resulted in reduced mainframe costs, accelerated delivery of new solutions, and a platform established for future expansion.

Read the full case study here.


RBC, Canada’s biggest bank, set out to improve its customer experience through data while staying compliant with industry regulations. RBC’s ultimate goal was to capitalize on the next generation of open-source, cloud-enabled, real-time, and responsive application and software development. They accomplished this by implementing Confluent Platform and writing a microservice to significantly reduce the reads on the mainframe, saving them fixed infrastructure costs (OpEx). They were also able to stay compliant with bank regulations and business logic, and are now able to create new applications using the same event-based architecture. This resulted in increased efficiency in application building. RBC was able to lower anomaly detection time from weeks to seconds and implement data reuse across teams for relevant business insights.

Read the full case study here.


KeyBank, one of the nation’s largest bank-based financial services companies,  launched an initiative to build a national digital bank focused on doctors, dentists, and other healthcare professionals looking to refinance student loans and buy homes. In order to power this initiative, as well as an enterprise-wide digital transformation, KeyBank needed to reduce the time to market for new products by democratizing data and decoupling systems across the IT landscape. KeyBank decided to create a center of excellence to help their teams harness data in motion with Confluent Platform to make data available to systems throughout the bank. By doing so, they were able to cut time-to-market estimates in half, cut mainframe and message queue cost estimates, as well as de-risk the adoption of a new technology paradigm.

Read the full case study here.

Start your modernization journey today with Confluent on IBM zSystems

Whether you want to leave your mainframe intact, migrate some workloads, or offload completely, Confluent is here to help. Check out the recently launched IBM MQ Source / Sink on z/OS Premium Connectors to learn how you can reduce overall data infrastructure TCO and enhance data accessibility, portability, and interoperability—all while improving speed, latency, and concurrency.

“Enterprises building real-time applications with IBM zSystems often leverage data events as a central part of their hybrid cloud strategy. Confluent on IBM zSystems offers a compelling solution for data events in their hybrid data platform to empower those enterprises.” — Kyle Charlet, CTO IBM zSystems Software, Distinguished Engineer

Download the IBM MQ Sink Connector and IBM MQ Source Connecter for Confluent Platform today.

  • Lydia Huang is a Sr. Product Marketing Manager at Confluent, working with RSI partners to create joint GTM strategies. Prior to Confluent, she worked with product marketing at IBM, managing cloud security.

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