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IT Web: Who said the mainframe is dead?

By | November 5, 2020

Published on November 3, 2020, by IT Web.

The mainframe has been declared dead so many times over the years, it’s sometimes hard to believe it still has a role to play in the enterprise world. But it does. IBM recently reported that 75% of the top 20 global banks are running the newest z15 mainframe. Enterprises use mainframes for applications that rely on scalability and reliability, and to perform large-scale transaction processing, as well as support thousands of users. More importantly, mainframes have become the foundation upon which businesses are building their DevOps and digital initiatives.

But it’s not all rosy. Larger environments such as the mainframe are by their nature more difficult to manage, with interoperability implications and a lot of complexity that needs addressing.

Gerard King, CA Southern Africa’s mainframe pre-sales and support engineer, says the marriage between the mainframe and the distributed environment is often an uneasy union. “Achieving harmony in this hybrid IT world can seem like an unworkable dream. However, it is possible to achieve not just a peaceful coexistence between these two systems, but a true integrated partnership. Doing so requires zeroing in on the areas where the differences between mainframe and distributed systems are most acute.

“‘Keeping the lights on’ has been the top priority for developers since the mainframe first came into existence, and, in contrast, the distributed DevOps culture is known for its agility. Distributed programmers, often younger than their mainframe counterparts, are accustomed to continuous integration and continuous delivery to meet the needs of a rapidly changing marketplace.”

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