The Mainframe’s Survival: Why So Surprised?

While the mainframe’s survival may not be as much of a given as, say, water flowing downhill, it has been around for about five decades – and continues to thrive as new computing trends such as Big Data and cloud take hold.

Long-time SHARE volunteer and freelance technology writer Gabe Goldberg considers the perception of the mainframe, wondering if it will ever disappear, as it “still largely defines corporate computing.” 

Pedro Pereira ponders the ill effects of the mainframe’s perception in a recent blog post on the SHARE President’s Corner citing John Abbott, analyst at 451 Research:

"Enterprises looking to host their own cloud-like services internally for mission critical applications are looking at hardware platforms efficient at pooling resources," says Abbott. "In some cases, the mainframe fits the bill for this scenario." 

That said, there are potential risks in companies committing to mainframes. Abbott points out that skilled mainframe administrators are increasingly difficult to find, and mainframe crashes loom as possibilities. 

"If systems aren't carefully maintained," says Abbott, "they can become unreliable." 

Pereira explains how this should not deter organizations from investing in mainframe technology. Rather, it should compel them to invest in skills development. Speaking to several notable examples of investments by both IBM and its customers, Pereira validates just how mainframe technology is thriving.

To learn more about the mainframe’s survival, click here