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IT Debate: Are mainframes modern enough?

By debate ·
The word on the street may be that mainframes are on the road to extinction, but don't rule them out just yet. According to Gartner, IBM is taking steps to establish the mind-set that platforms associated with legacy applications are suitable for today?s open, e-business applications. For example, IBM?s implementation of UNIX services and Java on the S/390 platform should help put this platform on the table as a viable option, Gartner says.

Do you agree with Gartner that mainframes, as a computing platform, will remain a feasible choice? What do you think the future holds for mainframes? Do you think IBM will be able to successfully revive the S/390 platform? What do you think of Java's potential to help revitalize S/390?

You can read the related Gartner article, which will be posted 3 A.M. Wednesday, at
http://www.techrepublic.com/article.jhtml?id=r00620010502ggp01.htm

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IT Debate: Are mainframes modern enough?

by parsonsac In reply to IT Debate: Are mainframes ...

It always amuses me to hear about the impending demise of the mainframe. Whilst I agree that the power of servers continue to grow and the ability to cluster them increases their power further still, it is neverless a fact that mainframes are still required for major number crunching applications.

There will indeed become a time when mainframes are obsolete but that is a long way off and it is also true that there will come a time when server/clusters will follow the same way.

P.s. just to let you knnow that I am not a mainframe nut, my primary skill set is client server based

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IT Debate: Are mainframes modern enough?

by debate In reply to IT Debate: Are mainframes ...

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IT Debate: Are mainframes modern enough?

by smithjj In reply to IT Debate: Are mainframes ...

This is not a technology issue, but a business one. Can one make more money with mainframes than some other server? For mainframes are specialized servers. They are very powerful, very secure, but more expensive to own, maintain, and to develop for.

Gartner's proposal of using Java on mainframes allows the legacy code to be updated and eventually replaced. The key value in this code are the business rules encoded in millions of lines of code. They define how the business runs. If this code could have been easily migrated to other servers, it would have by now. What remains are large, specialized applications that add value to the business, but are expensive to update and more expensive to replace. Java allows this code to have new interfaces that permit e-business and creates a path by which the business rules can migrate to a new form, while retaining the stability and the power of the mainframe.

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IT Debate: Are mainframes modern enough?

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IT Debate: Are mainframes modern enough?

by Russell_G In reply to IT Debate: Are mainframes ...

Why run Java or Unix services on a mainframe? Create the web services to interface to the data or application on the mainframe. And where were the facts behind the claim "Of the technologies that companies plan to use (or are currently using) to build distributed applications, Java tops the list." This sounds like an opinion to me.

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IT Debate: Are mainframes modern enough?

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IT Debate: Are mainframes modern enough?

by richwen In reply to IT Debate: Are mainframes ...

As a S/390 specialist, I think the systems are technically a feasible choice. For a server, the hardware and operating system are superb, and the programming interfaces have the openness of any Unix system. Applications on S/390 can, and must, livewithout any 3270 display protocol and Cobol language, and with native HTML and Java to have a future. Unfortunately, I don't think there is much of a future. Too many "mainframers" don't understand that a transition from the old to the new technology must be made. I think the Unix camp will learn to appreciate S/390, but they will not accept it since they actually like hundreds of servers, dislike consolidation, and by not understanding TCO, still believe the "mainframe" is too expensive. And IBM (or us S/390 fans) will never convince the proprietary-focused Windows fans that the "mainframe" will ever be anything more than 3270, card decks, and round tape.

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IT Debate: Are mainframes modern enough?

by debate In reply to IT Debate: Are mainframes ...

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IT Debate: Are mainframes modern enough?

by JimHM In reply to IT Debate: Are mainframes ...

I agree with Gartner - The mainframe will ALWAYs be a platform which will remain feasible and a choice platform. They are just like in construction - Sometimes you need a shovel (for a small hole) - and other times you need that MONSTER MACHINE (forthat stripe mine)! The application dictates the platform (sometimes)..

We need to process millions of transactions an hour - store tarabytes of data in the DMS/DBMS system - The mainframe is the economic platform of choice. We haven't found a midrange that can scale to those numbers or that power.

The mainframe environment today is not the platform of choice for all companies or all products. It is and will remain a choice - as always research and cost analyst must be done to select the operational platforms needed for a companys infrastructure. There isn't one platform capable as a "One Size Fits All"..

The future of mainframe is viable - but different from today ... it will be just another platform that companies can select.
As for JAVA making it more successful - wasn't it back in the early 80's that C++ and PASCAL on the mainframe was going to do that. The best that has come along to help is Middleware (Tuxedo, TX Series, DBConnect..) JAVA will just be another language tool, which helps make the platform a vialbe choice.

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