Who Wants To Be A Mainframe Genius? | April 25, 2023

Who Wants to be a Mainframe Genius
By Sonja Soderlund

Mainframes have been around for more than half a century, and for many businesses, they remain the backbone of their IT operations. However, as technology continues to evolve, many organizations are looking to modernize their mainframes to keep up with changing business needs and stay competitive.

But what does it even mean to modernize a mainframe? And what is the best approach to take when it comes to keeping your mainframe running at peak performance and with minimal cost? These are some of the questions addressed by Allan Zander in his article “So What Does ‘Mainframe Modernization’ Really Mean?” (♧ HINT)

Spoiler alert: Zander (CEO of DataKinetics) does not mean “using Vendor A’s specific (and possibly inflexible) software solutions, and it certainly doesn’t mean to suddenly or even gradually dump your existing high-value and mission-critical IT assets into the landfill.” Rather, Zander outlines a more nuanced approach that preserves the centrality of the mainframe, while optimizing it for performance and cost reduction. 

However, if you’re still worrying about the continued viability of the mainframe, Tamal Das’ article “Why is the Mainframe Still Relevant and Thriving in 2022?” (♧ HINT) might help you relax a bit. Das contends that despite the popularity of cloud computing, mainframe systems remain highly relevant in business operations.

IBM, the still undisputed leader in mainframe manufacturing and servicing, has recently announced upgrade plans, migration opportunities, capability enhancement plans, collaborations, and more. These are not the actions of a company that is getting set to back away from its investment in mainframes.

In fact, Das’ article shows that recent financial reports of IBM do not show any declining trend for the mainframe industry. And there are other statistics that should give comfort to people and businesses deeply invested in the mainframe. 

A Deloitte survey revealed that 74% of businesses that use mainframe systems consider them important for their operations, even as they actively subscribe to cloud computing services. Meanwhile, a Statista report on Big Iron’s role in hybrid IT strategy in 2021 revealed that 85% of the respondents believe and trust mainframe solutions to solve modern technology problems critical to highly scaled-up businesses.

Read both articles and then see how much you took in with our Trivia Quiz:

Screen scrapers were developed to do what?

  1. Modernize green screen interfaces
  2. Provide Cost Transparency
  3. Reduce the amount of CPU and MSU resources used by your mainframe applications
  4. Both B and C

Click to Reveal Answer

A: Modernize green screen interfaces

One potential drawback of mainframe computers is that they are particularly vulnerable to even small earthquakes. True or False?

  1. True
  2. False

Click to Reveal Answer

B: False

Which of these statistics is true?

  1. 45 of the global and top-grossing banks still prefer mainframe computers
  2. 67 of the Fortune 100 companies chose to retain mainframes along with cloud computing
  3. 8 out of the top 10 telecommunications companies prefer the continued use of their mainframe systems
  4. All of the above

Click to Reveal Answer

D: All of the above

A single z15 mainframe system can handle up to how many HTTPS transactions in a day?

  1. 1,000,000,000
  2. 1,000,000,000,000
  3. 1,500,000,000
  4. 500,000,000

Click to Reveal Answer

B: 1,000,000,000,000

The first photograph ever taken took 8 hours to expose

For the foreseeable future, Big Iron is going to continue to loom large as the workhorse IT infrastructure for Big Business. Mainframes are still relevant and necessary for processing millions of monetary or data transactions per minute, which is essential for many businesses to operate. 

The reality is that mainframes continue to offer unmatched reliability and security features that are crucial for businesses, particularly those in the finance and banking industries. And when properly managed, mainframes also have a lower total cost of ownership compared to other solutions, making them a cost-effective option for businesses.