Mainframe Modernisation in Hyperdrive

Announcing PopUp Mainframe 2.0

PopUp Mainframe 2.0 has been released, providing virtual environments running ZD&T 14.0.0 and IBM’s latest z/OS operating system, IBM z/OS V2.5.

Provision Mainframe Environments with APIs

Use automation pipelines to provision and scale mainframe “Gold Copy” environments instantly

Mainframe in the Cloud

Modernise your organisation strategy with mainframe in the cloud

Mainframe Self-service

Mainframe test environments are now a commodity

Data Compliance & Data Masking

Fully data-compliant mainframe environments with state-of-the-art data masking

Agile Mainframe Projects

Mainframe environments created on-demand accelerate projects dependent on mainframe

Dedicated Mainframe Environments

Create isolated environments for development, use with desktop IDE, testing, R&D, training & more!

Reduce Hardware Costs

Mainframe test environments run on x86 commodity hardware and in the cloud

Reduce Total Cost of Ownership

Turn off mainframe test environments when not needed, reducing energy usage and CO2 emissions



PopUp Mainframe delivers Red Hat Enterprise Linux distribution with IBM’s zD&T mainframe emulator pre-installed, preconfigured and ready for work on any enterprise hardware you choose.


PopUp Mainframe enables the instant rollout of a mainframe for testing, development, R&D, software evaluation or training – integrated seamlessly with your IT estate.


PopUp Mainframe enables organisations to include mainframe in their cloud strategy. It removes the need for siloed mainframe skills, making mainframe environment self-service a reality.


Which software runs on PopUp?

PopUp supports z/OS 2.4, TSO/ISPF, DB2, CICS, IMS, MQ and ANY 3rd party mainframe software.

It is a fully provisioned mainframe and runs real mainframe code.

How quickly can you setup a PopUp?

PopUp can be up and running in under 2 hours. PopUp can be installed and run instantly like an app on desktop, server (in VMs and containers) and the Cloud.

Can I connect PopUp to a physical mainframe?

YES. You can copy application data, executables and source libraries onto the PopUp using an IBM utility, FTP or Connect Direct. If you use a desktop IDE (e.g. Topaz) to connect to your mainframe, you can also use it to connect to your a PopUp.

What can I do on PopUp?

Anything that you might already do on a mainframe – testing and development, R&D, third party software evaluation, training for testers and developers.

What can I NOT do on PopUp?

Volume testing or live production work is not allowed, as the zD&T license forbids it. Performance testing is not allowed, and the disk is different between a physical mainframe and the PopUp so would give different results.

Certain kinds of encryption are not available in PopUp.

What is the difference between PopUp and ZD&T?

Our explainer video describes the differences between PopUp and ZD&T.

How many PopUps can I have?

As many as you need. You can have one or multiple Linux servers running PopUp and you can save PopUp’s config, system and application data at any point in the PopUp’s life and restore it at will.

How do I maintain my PopUp?

To keep maintenance to an absolute minimum, it is recommended to restore your PopUp back to the beginning of its life for each new use. For ad hoc problems that may crop up, you can use your own z/OS system admin to resolve them.

Do I need to have mainframe or green screen skills in order to use a PopUp?

No! In fact PopUp enables developers with absolutely no mainframe experience to connect with, configure and develop mainframe systems with zero risk to the physical mainframe. See this blog for more information.

Why PopUp Mainframe?

COVID-19 has dramatically accelerated the need for organisations to digitally transform and to find ways to save time and money. Until now, mainframes have been hugely expensive to upgrade or change with niche skills required to manipulate managed environments.

This has led us to develop PopUp Mainframe, harnessing the power of IBM’s zD&T mainframe emulator to enable you to spin up as many mainframe environments as you need, cheaply and quickly. Development teams or individuals can now have their own mainframe to boost project performance to a new level.


PopUp Mainframe should be used only for development, testing, employee education, or demonstration of Licensee’s applications that run on z/OS. It cannot be used for production workloads of any kind, including without limitation, production module builds, pre-production testing, stress testing, or performance testing. Additionally, PopUp Mainframe is not authorized to be used for code refactoring or re-engineering with the intention to re-platform existing z/OS based applications, for processing production workloads, simulating production workloads or testing scalability of any code, application, or system. For additional information, please refer to IBM ZD&T License Information.