In pictures: The (mostly) cool history of the IBM mainframe

IBM's iconic mainframe turns 50: In its history the IBM mainframe has been hailed and vilified. It has been born, reborn (many times) and pronounced dead. And yet the Big Iron remains a key computing resource for many large companies and will do so for many years. Here we take a look at the mainframe’s long history, from its use with the US space program to its prominence inside large business datacentres. Take a look.

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In one of the most strategic moves IBM ever made with the mainframe, in 2000 IBM said it would begin supporting Linux on the mainframe, a huge nod to that systems growing influence. By 2009 70% of IBM's top 100 mainframe customers were running Linux, according to Gartner.

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In pictures: The (mostly) cool history of the IBM mainframe

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