A New Test for Older Mainframes

Sometimes, sudden spikes in new activity unveil the continuing existence of systems that may have been around long before the current IT workforces tasked with handling them. There have been news reports about states' unemployment filing systems becoming overloaded and crashing. A local news report out of Florida says that "state officials are holding their breath" out of concerns that the state's 30-year-old mainframe systems won't be able to handle the load-unemployment claims in 2008 doubled from the previous year, with more than 1.3 million claims filed. According to the report, the legacy system "won't take many more technical improvements." Has Florida considered all the options now available, from enterprise virtualization to service-oriented architecture to grid computing, to distribute these sudden spikes in workloads?

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