DCN February 2017 - Page 50


Image courtesy of IBM Archives from scratch . When IBM brought out the z13 mainframe , the company stated that it was built for the ‘ mobile economy ’. And they aren ’ t wrong ; currently , 72 per cent of IBM mainframes are used to support mobile and web applications . Mobile banking , hotel and airline booking systems and insurance companies that generate quotes on the Internet are all examples of mainframes supporting modern systems . In fact , research has found that , on average , an individual person ‘ touches ’ a mainframe 12 to 14 times a day . You may be holding a lightweight mobile device , but there ’ s a big , powerful machine working away somewhere in the background .
IBM unveiled the modern manframe in 1952 for use during the Cold War .
Harmony in the clouds for the mainframe ? Cloud computing has been one of the most talked about developments of recent years . The flexibility of accessing information and applications from anywhere in the world has helped businesses from tiny start-ups to global giants . The flexibility of cloud is often contrasted incorrectly with the stability of the mainframe . It is in fact a huge mistake to assume that the cloud and mainframe are opposites . Essentially , the cloud is a way of providing online services – whether that ’ s data , processes or storage – according to user demand . Mainframes are doing this today , but with incredibly high levels of processing efficiency , scalability and security . So we might even suggest that ‘ new ’ cloud computing solutions are finally catching up !
The mainframe is not only able to support cloud infrastructure , but also provides the ability to secure it . A recent report from Ponemon Institute ( commissioned by Gemalto ) found that over 92 per cent of UK businesses fail to encrypt 75 per cent of sensitive data ( including customer and financial information ) that is sent via the cloud . By combining the security benefits of the mainframe , such as real time encryption , with the flexibility of a cloud environment , it is possible to address some of the concerns about protecting data .
The mobile world isn ’ t as ‘ mobile ’ as it seems One of the reasons that mainframes are having such a long and successful existence is that they are able to support the fresh technology that companies currently use to fulfil their business needs . Using interfaces to enable mobile applications to access data held on mainframes , businesses can modernise without having to rewrite entire systems
Big Data needs big support We are living in a data driven world . In 2015 , more data was produced than in the last 100 years and smaller systems are simply not able to process it fast enough . Mainframes have the scalability and processing power to process , manage and store the vast quantities of data produced today by almost all industry sectors , from banking and retail to healthcare and manufacturing . Virtualisation tools plug into mainframes to allow for the aggregation of data held in different data repositories without the need to physically combine separate databases .
Mainframes not only support the growth of big businesses , but they also support our daily lives . They are seldom in the media spotlight but they underpin a huge part of our world . Whatever the next new technology may be , you can expect the mainframe to play an important role . These giants will continue to remain the core of big businesses for many years to come .