5 things you should know about mainframe computers

Why mainframes are the computer of choice for big data.

Mainframes host most of the world’s data, processing about 95% of the transactions in the banking, insurance, airline, and retail industries and host 70% of the world’s data. They often run mission-critical workloads requiring high scalability, agility, and resilience. Mainframes will continue to play a critical role in the operations of most of the world’s largest corporations, with good reason.  

  1. They are smaller than you think but mighty: Modern-day mainframes are about the size of a refrigerator but have the computing power of over 100 regular servers. Mainframes process billions of calculations and transactions in real-time and can support thousands of applications and input/output devices to serve thousands of users. Commercial mainframes host databases, transaction servers, and applications requiring more security and availability than smaller servers can provide.

Mainframes are known for their high reliability, availability, and serviceability levels. The IBM z self-management technologies allow the system to protect itself, detect and recover from errors, change, and configure itself, and optimize itself in the presence of problems, for maximum performance with minimum intervention.

  1. Mainframe security is unmatched: The IBM zSeries is the current generation of the world’s most powerful transaction processing system, capable of running over 12 billion encrypted transactions daily, with a footprint as small as a refrigerator. It addresses online security by enabling the ability to encrypt data at light speed. Currently, only about 4% of online transactions are encrypted. This is a game changer in terms of cyber security. Even if hackers can access data, the encryption makes it unusable. The new platform can identify potential tampering and quickly encrypt the programming interfaces that tie together applications and services. Storing sensitive data at rest on an IBM z provides encryption protection against potential exposure when its encryption key is secured. This level of encryption is an attractive option for a company as part of its data loss prevention plan. 

  2. The cost of ownership is lower than ever:The total cost of ownership of the new generation of mainframes has improved from previous generations. Businesses will also see their software costs decrease as they invest in newer mainframe technology. When analyzing cost savings, many companies fail to anticipate the additional cost for IT staff to maintain a server farm which is often more expensive than the cost of mainframe hardware and software maintenance. Mainframes still require an extensive infrastructure to host and maintain them, and increasingly, businesses are turning to Managed Services Providers to host their mainframe in a purpose-built data centre, further reducing their capital and operating costs. 

  3. Scarce support resources are a big concern with mainframe computer operations: Those entering computing careers today are more attracted to developing apps than running mainframe computers, and post-secondary schools no longer teach mainframe skills like COBOL. As a result, there is a severe shortage of mainframe skills in the marketplace. Cover-All Managed Cloud and IT Services hires and trains mainframe personnel to manage and support the mainframes for their largest clients. This shared resource pool has become a valuable asset for Cover-All clients. 

  4. Mainframe computers are cloud-friendly:Today’s version of the mainframe computer is equipped to handle the speed and security of high-demand processing but also has the ability to integrate with cloud applications giving companies unprecedented flexibility as they make decisions about their companies’ future IT direction.

The mainframe remains the most reliable and secure platform available, making it the big data computer of choice for the foreseeable future.

To discover how Cover-All Managed Cloud and IT Services and help you achieve positive business outcomes, call 1-833-268-3788, or visit https://msp.cover-all.ca/business-outcomes/.