One of the most obvious benefits
of the mainframe environment is the incredible amount of
redundancy that the mainframe features.
Redundancy is the use of several identical functional
units, such as several disk drives or power supply systems,
within one computer system in order to provide data security
and a certain degree of fault tolerance in case of hardware
failures. Redundant power
supplies, processors, and storage devices create a system
that practically can't be taken offline.
The ability of a system to expand as resources, such as
processors, memory, or storage, are added.
The recent Mainframe Systems Z series are designed to
provide an availability of 99.999%.
Reliability is a measurement of the ability of a system to continue
processing without failure.
The "Z" in System Z's brand-name stands for zero
down-time. System Z servers have reported an 'Mean Time
to Failure' of 40 years, that means they are guaranteed
to run continuously for 40 years without any failure.
Mainframes are able to be
completely customized to fit an individual user's need.
The mainframe is built to order by IBM and thoroughly
tested to ensure that it meets customer requirements.
Individual processors can be turned on and off on
real-time needs, and operating parameters are completely
customizable. Additionally, it is possible to run
multiple operating systems or z/OS instances on multiple
logical partitions at the same time. Additionally, most large companies have
applications developed or customized to specifically meet
unique business needs.
Estimates that up to 70% of corporate production data still
resides on the mainframe. This means that private clouds
residing on System z have secure access to essential
information that can be shared if necessary with adequate
access controls, encryption, data security, data masking and
Programs written for the IBM os/360
and later models, will still run quite happily on the
latest version of IBM Z/OS, usually without even a
recompile or re-assembly (that's nearly 50 years of
continuous upward compatibility and reliability). IBM
has been maintaining downward compatibility for every new
release of hardware and software.
Modern mainframes have security built into them from the
ground up, both in the operating system and through
cryptographic hardware acceleration. Governments,
universities, and large-scale enterprises like banks,
insurance companies, etc. ó all of whom have a critical
requirement to keep user and internal data protected at
once protected but also highly retrievable. At the kind
of high-demand loads we talked about in the first point,
youíll begin to see the daunting nature of that task
when you realize, for example, that all of those
hundreds of thousands of requests that VISA processes
every second have to be both encrypted and decrypted in
real time ó i.e., at a speed that wonít be noticeable to
those hundreds of thousands of simultaneous users. Itís
a task that the lower-powered servers arenít quite up to
ó but one which built-in hardware acceleration of the
encryption and decryption processes help the mainframe
is not a single incident of virus/worm/spyware/malware
attack in the last 50 years history of Mainframe.
The power of IBM's Z System
processor can move mountains of data, billions of
instructions and supports parallel processing. A batch
job that copies billions of records from one file to
another file structure can take minutes instead of
Multiprocessing of hundreds of
simultaneous users, system tasks, online service and
batch jobs will not crash a processor: a mainframe LPAR
image is designed to handle heavy loads. The processor
will not crash from overuse or overheating like ordinary
The latest z13 mainframe uses
the most powerful processor on the planet. The z13
supports up to 8000 Linux images simultaneously for
cloud computing. For the mobile economy the z13 does
real-time encryption and can process 2.5 billion
transactions per day. For the z13, IBM spent over 1
billion dollars and five years of development and with
more than 500 new patents.