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Getting Your Mainframe Off Life Support

Published on 22 July 15
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Hey, remember those big old mainframes, the ones that were to computer operations what phone booths and rotary phones were to telecommunications? Those big clunky things that all of the tech pundits swore up and down were going to go the way of the dinosaur? "Everything's going to the cloud!", they say. "There's no need for those big old mainframes and servers anymore!"

Not so fast ...
Reports Of Its Demise Have Been Greatly Exaggerated
As it turns out, the big bad mainframe has most emphatically NOT breathed its last. According to information provided in"Breathing New Life Into The Mainframe", the IBM System z13 has been very well-received, being responsible for markedly driving IBM's second quarter sales' figures upwards, and the third and fourth quarters are expected to be just as good if not better.

Clearly, IBM has a winner on their hands, and people are buying them, which kind of flies in the face of the assertion that the day of the mainframe is over.
The Role Of Today's Mainframe
Today, industries such as banking, airlines, and many major Fortune 500 corporations are finding that having mainframes is still a good idea. Mainframes offer fast response times, process high volumes of transactions, and support thousands of applications and users concurrently, all while providing solid security and minimal downtime. Granted, it's an investment, but this falls under the category of "you get what you pay for".

The modern mainframe can also run a big number of virtual machines simultaneously, which means that cloud computing can benefit from this "old" technology. By all accounts, the mainframe is winning over hearts and minds by being a powerful, on-site muscle machine that can actually work in conjunction with the new technology, rather than against it.
Getting Your Mainframe Off Life Support - Image 1
Today's mainframes are also being relied upon to handle the colossal number of transactions conducted on many of today's busiest websites. Pause for a moment and consider how a 21st century concept, namely websites, is relying on technology that's a half-century old, and relying on it voluntarily because frankly, it's the best option!

How common are mainframes these days? Let's put it this way: if you've used your bank card at an ATM anytime recently, you've interacted with a mainframe.

It's really true: everything old is indeed new again!
The Mainframe As A Bridge
According to the article referenced earlier, mainframes have a new role: bridging the gap between the old legacy systems and the new mobile and cloud environments. Today's mainframes have the latest IT advantages built in, things like Big Data analytics, mobile computing support, and cloud environment hosting. By their very nature and purpose, the modern mainframe can handle the old legacy systems that were the standard for businesses for the past half-century.
The Future Looks Bright For Old Dogs Learning New Tricks
With its new role in handling cloud computing on-site, it seems that the mainframe stands no chance of losing its seat at the table. And to think, all it took was evolving along with the continually changing technology.

At this rate, it won't be surprising if people started rummaging around for their old desktop PCs in the hopes of upgrading them. Here's some advice on how to do such an upgrade, just in case.
This blog is listed under Cloud Computing , Operating Systems and Server & Storage Management Community

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