Kenya Power, Kenya’s national electricity distributor and retailer, has recently taken delivery of a new IBM zEnterprise mainframe to run its first data warehouse, business intelligence, analytics, and forecasting applications. Kenya Power thus becomes the first zEnterprise customer in all of East Africa.

It’s a beautiful day in Nairobi today, and I couldn’t be more excited and thrilled about this big step forward Kenya Power is taking on their journey to deliver reliable, clean electricity more efficiently. KP selected the most powerful, most capable, most reliable, and most secure analytics solution to help them continuously improve their business. For the first time KP’s managers will see a current, single view of their business in unified dashboards, even when they’re out in the field using mobile devices.

IBM’s Colin Page and I, along with Symphony, spent literally years working with Kenya Power to design and to refine the best, most innovative solution to meet or exceed their current and future needs. (And a score of individuals then worked/are working, sometimes round the clock, to meet KP’s February, 2015, in-service goal for their first BI services.) We arrived at a solution architecture that is at once elegantly simple and extraordinarily powerful: the IBM zEnterprise Analytics System 9710 tailored to KP’s specific needs. Everything Kenya Power needs to improve their business insight dramatically runs on their new, mission-critical zEnterprise zBC12 server.

Their server is equipped with 4 types of main processors: CPs, a zIIP, IFLs, and an ICF. They’re running z/OS 2.1 and DB2 11 for z/OS on the CPs and zIIP. They’ll use their ICF to take advantage of DB2 data sharing in the near future to support continuous service data warehousing and business intelligence. On the same machine they run IBM InfoSphere DataStage to extract, transform, and load data regularly and frequently from a variety of data sources (billing, the grid, financial planning, etc.) into their new DB2 for z/OS data warehouse. Some real time and near real time feeds into their enterprise warehouse, particularly from the grid, are planned. They also use InfoSphere QualityStage to cleanse data properly, a critical part of gaining better business insight. IBM Cognos Business Intelligence provides reporting, dashboards, and mobile services for securely accessing their warehouse from Nairobi and from across the country, out in the field. Before long well over 1,000 employees will be using this new analytics and reporting system. They also have IBM SPSS Modeler to help a few KP business planners predict trends and recommend next best actions for the organization to serve its clients better. Yes, all of these advanced capabilities run on zEnterprise, with z/VM and Linux.

They also have the IBM DB2 Analytics Accelerator (IDAA) powered by Netezza technology. Thus Kenya Power joins the world’s most cutting edge customers in being able to process complex, long-running business intelligence queries in seconds rather than hours or days. It’s no exaggeration to say that IDAA is revolutionizing what businesses can do with their enterprise data, dramatically raising their business performance based on quick, current, actionable insight.

The IBM DS8870 Enterprise Storage System provides Kenya Power with the reliable, high performance storage space they need to grow and the option to add much more in the future.

Kenya Power has now embarked on a journey to transform and to modernize nearly all of its business operations. We’ll continue to work with Kenya Power to achieve even greater efficiencies (including reducing their own data center’s electric power consumption) and to add new capabilities and applications to their already world class infrastructure.

Thank you, Kenya Power, and welcome to the mainframe family.

Kenya Power Sign

Mongo is here!

No, not that Mongo. (Previous link possibly “Not Safe for Work.”)  MongoDB, a “NoSQL” database. Via the Linux and Mainframe blog comes news that you can now easily build and run the latest release of MongoDB on Linux on zEnterprise. Also, DB2 for z/OS supports MongoDB’s JSON-oriented query language. That means you can develop an application that supports MongoDB (including MongoDB on Linux on zEnterprise) then move your data to the ultra safe, secure, scalable, and resilient DB2 for z/OS without changing your application.

Now go get in the saddle.

I’d like to report that IBM is now distributing its software development kit (SDK) for Node.js running on mainframes. Node.js is a server-side JavaScript application environment that’s gaining some popularity. Node.js is a trademark of Joyent.

IBM is offering its Node.js SDK for download at no charge. Priced support is optional and available from IBM if you want or need it.

You could (and still can) download, build (if necessary), and run any open source software projects you like on your mainframe, so Node.js on mainframes isn’t necessarily new. What is new is IBM’s distribution and the fact IBM puts some energy into testing and optimizing Node.js on mainframes.