Mainframe here to stay, survey says

IT's planned use for the mainframe as a computing platform continues to grow, BMC survey finds.

The future looks bright for the mainframe as a majority of IT managers report they will continue to use the systems for legacy applications and start moving new workloads that could benefit from the mainframe's availability and scalability onto the platform.

In its annual survey of 1,100 mainframe users, management software maker BMC discovered that IT's planned use for the mainframe as a computing platform continues to grow. For instance, 65 percent of respondents said the mainframe platform will continue to grow and attract new workloads in their environment, compared with 52 percent of respondents who said the same in the 2007 survey. Thirty percent said that the mainframe will continue as a viable long-term platform, but restricted to legacy workloads. And 4 percent indicated mainframe users should consider an exit strategy in the next five years.

Fewer organizations surveyed this year also plan to eliminate their mainframe environment in the short term. According to BMC's findings, 59 percent of respondents said they would be ridding themselves of the mainframe in less than three years, compared with 74 percent in 2007. Thirty-six percent said they would work toward removing mainframes in three to six years and 6 percent expected to keep mainframes in house for more than six years.

Nearly three-fourths of those surveyed said the availability advantages that the mainframe offers keep the systems running in their IT shops. For 65 percent, the mainframe offers a superior centralized data serving environment. Sixty-two percent believe that transaction throughput requirements are best suited to the platform, and the same number value the mainframe's security strengths.

"In terms of stability, the mainframe is probably the best machine for transaction crunching. We service 2,000 end users at any given time, so having that kind of flexibility provides us with the ability to continue to support the health care environment while the mainframe processes applications and passes them down to other systems," says Paul Baquet Jr., a senior systems analyst at Duke Health Technology Solutions who oversees enterprise infrastructure and mainframe services and uses BMC software to monitor the environment.

Other reasons survey respondents choose to keep mainframes in-house include the ability to integrate the legacy platform with newer systems. For instance, 44 percent said that access to the platform is increasing through Web services and service-oriented architecture integration projects. And 42 percent reported they are leveraging legacy applications to create new business applications. Nearly one-third said specialty MIPS are supporting new applications and reducing overall mainframe total cost of ownership. And 16 percent said they are consolidating existing distributed workloads back to the mainframe.

"The mainframe is getting smaller and smaller, and the scalability just keeps getting better," Banquet says. "There is a place for the mainframe and there is a place for distributed systems. People in the industry are finding ways to make these work better together, but the mainframe is a very reliable machine and the distributed system just a junior still trying to grow up and be the mainframe."

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Denise Dubie

Network World
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?