Mainframes are not just relics of a former computer era. They’re massive machines that typically process tons of small and simple daily transactions. Some of the world’s top corporations entrust their data to mainframe computers. One of the biggest reasons why they prefer keeping this platform at the center of their technology strategies is that mainframe computers offer unmatched functionality and reliability. No other platform can handle the demands of major financial institutions and large corporations.
Did you know that a big percentage of the world’s transaction data occurs on mainframes? Data published by the Datatrain suggests that 1.1 million high-volume consumer transactions occur every second on mainframe computers. They also disclose that more than 70 percent of Global Fortune 500 companies use mainframes to handle their core business functions. So why are companies growing their use of mainframes?
The number of users transacting online is expected to go well over 38.5 billion over the next few years. To deal with the growing demand for online transaction processing, financial institutions, governments, and universities need mainframe computers. Mainframes can keep up with increasing demand, by processing millions of transactions per second. These machines are ideal for hosting some of the most important, mission-critical applications and they’re designed to allow a large number of customers to access the same data simultaneously, without any issues. They use large CPUs and System Assistance Processors to transfer data rapidly and with precision.
Mainframes retain performance levels when software and hardware changes are made. They efficiently adapt to new workloads of varying complexity. As companies grow in employees and customers, additional capacity can be added to support business growth without disrupting normal business processes.
Modern mainframe computers exhibit RAS (reliability, availability and serviceability) characteristics. They’re designed to remain in service at all times. Financial institutions, for example, can’t afford to have system outages. They need robust and highly reliable systems with no unplanned downtime. Mainframes meet this particular requirement. IBM System Z models have a mean time to failure of 40 years, which means these machines run continuously for an average of 40 years with zero downtime. The architecture allows for software and hardware upgrades without any downtime, which is a huge plus for banks and other large organizations.
Large scale enterprises like banks, insurance companies, and government organizations want to keep user and internal data secure and retrievable. This is quite a challenging task for those hundreds and thousands of online transaction requests that need to be processed, encrypted and decrypted simultaneously in real time and at speeds that won’t be noticeable to users. Mainframes are undoubtedly more secure than commercial desktop operating systems. They have extensive capabilities to share critical data with users authorized to see it, but they still protect data through built-in cryptographic hardware acceleration.
Mainframes can be customized to fit an individual user’s needs. Processors can be turned on and off, depending on the needs of the business. Operating parameters can be customized as well. Some of the latest mainframes, like the IBM System z13, run much faster than previous models. They’re designed to process more than 30,000 transactions per second and up to 2.5 billion transactions per day. These machines have an incredible capacity and outstanding processing power.
Modern mainframes are designed to deliver more value than ordinary computers and they’re built to handle more workloads. They’re also perfectly positioned to support new technologies and offer tremendous efficiency as the digital transformation continues.
Mainframes have been here for more than 50 years. Rather than losing relevancy, they’re only getting faster and more reliable with each passing year.
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