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Complete 360

After 45 years, innovation brings the mainframe full circle.

After 45 years, innovation brings the mainframe full circle.
Photography by Chip Williams

Q: The mainframe is more than the machine. How would you describe this community of people who use and support it? How has the mainframe grown and changed over the years?

A: There’s a whole mindset. When you look at the mainframe from a customer-management standpoint, it’s the only platform you can add substantial capacity to without adding substantial management cost. As much as I’d like to take credit from technology standpoint, much credit goes to the customers. Understanding you’re an always-available, shared resource has driven customers who use the mainframe to develop sophisticated change-control systems, internal-management systems, and we gain the benefit. The aura around the mainframe is the community of customers who use, develop and run on the mainframe. The addition of their innovation and knowledge helps in a substantial way.

Most recently, with the addition of many new customers, there’s a whole new set of users excited about the mainframe. They’re, to some extent, being nurtured by the existing community. Along with that, there’s a huge momentum around the younger community and the university community to understand the mainframe. I attribute this to the move we made to run Linux* on the mainframe. The mainframe is truly a differentiated platform that can meet customers’ requirements, which get steeper and steeper, and the mainframe continues to climb heights to meet them.

Natalie Boike is a former IBM Systems Magazine managing editor.


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MAINFRAME > TRENDS > z/OS

Complete 360

After 45 years, innovation brings the mainframe full circle.

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