Still not dead: The mainframe hangs on, sustained by Linux and hybrid cloud

Cristopher Centers

The mainframe has been declared “dead”, “morphed” and “transformed” so many times over the years sometimes it’s sometimes hard to believe the Big Iron still has an identity in the enterprise world. But clearly it does and in a major way, too.  Take recent news as an example: According to […]

The mainframe has been declared “dead”, “morphed” and “transformed” so many times over the years sometimes it’s sometimes hard to believe the Big Iron still has an identity in the enterprise world.

But clearly it does and in a major way, too. 

Take recent news as an example: According to IBM, 75% of the top 20 global banks are running the newest z15 mainframe, and the IBM Systems Group reported a 68% gain in Q2 IBM Z revenue year-over-year.

At the heart of its current vitality is Linux—primarily in the form of Big Iron-based Red Hat OpenShift—and a variety of software such as IBM Cloud Paks and open source applications.  The Linux-mainframe marriage is celebrating 20 years this month, and while the incongruous mashup—certainly at the beginning anyway—has been a boon for the mainframe, by most accounts it still has plenty of good years ahead of it.

“For the first five or so years we really were just experimenting with what we could do with Linux and the mainframe but then the server-consolidation movement hit, and we knew we had something big,” said Ross Mauri, the general manager for IBM Z.

“What really got us going was the big Wall Street financial companies who all had these Sun Solaris servers with big databases, and many decided to consolidate on the Z mainframe running Linux, and we were off and running,” he said.

Another contributing factor in 2000 was Big Blue’s $1B investment in all things Linux, which was a huge move in getting the operating system and open-source software in general into the mainstream business market.

Since that time there have been numerous milestones in the mainframe’s Linux journey, including the introduction of a standalone box, the LinuxONE, five years ago, which is now at the heart of some of the world’s largest implementations.

Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.

Next Post

3 Times Ginsburg Led The Way On Environmental Law

Share us on: By Archive Email Juan Carlos Rodriguez ” href=”https://www.law360.com/#”>Juan Carlos Rodriguez Law360 (September 21, 2020, 8:31 PM EDT) — U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg will be best remembered for her fierce support of gender equality and civil rights, but she made her mark on environmental law […]