For distributed applications, it is now routine and often expected that a dedicated environment can be spun up anytime one is required. This is in line with the agile and DevOps ways of working which are becoming ubiquitous in the distributed world. However, this has not commonly been the case for mainframe (and certainly is not widely implemented yet).
Non-prod mainframe environments are hard to get hold of!
Usually, mainframe test environments run on dedicated LPARs with typically fixed MIPS allocation. As these test environments are “sharing” the mainframe resources with prod environments, there is a strict quota with tight restrictions on usage. The total mainframe capacity (including test capacity) cannot be extended without purchasing more resources at great cost.
This lack of mainframe test environments necessitates tight scheduling and control so the environments can be shared. Many organisations have a mainframe-skilled environment management team for this purpose, and in many cases, inefficient processes governing mainframe test environment setup and requests.