Data Centers

Survey results: Multiprocessor servers versus mainframes

Is the mainframe a dinosaur? Check out the surprising results of our survey.


The battle between multiprocessor servers and mainframes is heating up now that Microsoft has introduced a series of server operating systems that can support larger numbers of computer processing units.

When we asked in a recent survey if multiprocessor servers would replace mainframes at your organization, twice as many respondents with mainframes said that multiprocessor servers are on the way in and mainframes are on the way out. Nearly all of you, 93 percent, are already running system software that supports multiple CPUs.



Only 7 percent of survey respondents said they would be deploying multiprocessor servers in the next year with 32 CPUs or more while 31 percent will be deploying multiprocessor servers with fewer than 32 CPUs.

Here’s another interesting result in our survey—while 93 percent of you are running system software that supports multiple CPUs, 18 percent of you don’t have servers capable of running multiprocessors. This seems to indicate that 11 percent see other benefits in the system software beyond its capability to support multiple CPUs.

The survey indicated that 82 percent of respondents were running a server with multiple CPUs. The most popular vendors were Dell (17 percent), IBM (12 percent), Hewlett Packard (12 percent), and Gateway (1 percent). Forty percent of the respondents listed “Other” as the vendor.

Survey results show that 59 percent of respondents run NT 4.0 and 14 percent have Windows 2000. UNIX is next with 20 percent.


Did these results surprise you? Companies seem to be hanging on to their mainframes even though multiprocessor servers are far less expensive. Why? Start a discussion below or send us a note.

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