Mainframes are still in popular demand, thanks to growing data requirements.
The observation comes the way of BMC Software’s latest annual A/NZ mainframe survey, which the vendor runs to get a sense of the temperature from the customer base.
BMC Software Asia-Pacific area mainframe vice president, James Russell, adds that the survey helps the company get an idea of what is going on globally in terms of mainframe usage.
“The purpose for BMC to run the survey is to see what are changes are occurring with mainframes so we can put R&D in the right places,” he said.
“That way we can focus out business better on delivering technologies in that mainframe space.”
The key thing that came out of the survey is mainframes continue to grow in the marketplace.
“Ten years ago, a large mainframe in Australia was between 1500 to 2000 MIPS [millions of instructions per second],” Russell said.
“It is ten times that size today and there are bigger sites than that as well.”
That is where BMC has seen actual growth in processor engines, as the factors driving that are very much around transaction processing requirements.
In turn, what is driving that is users wanting to have data available to them at any point in time, anywhere.
“Users with mobile devices have driven transaction growth for organisations that are transaction intensive, such as banks, large government departments, healthcare and telco,” Russell said.
“We’re seeing significant grown in the platform simply driven by demands for data.”
Some of the growth is attributed to “historical, legacy applications,” and some is due to newer applications where the mainframe is providing the back-end delivery of that application.
As for why people chose to go with the mainframe and not alternate platforms, Russell says that most of the users tend to be those for whom security and data integrity is critical.
“They want to manage it from a central perspective, and the platform provides a footprint or a capability engine that enables that kind of deliverable,” he said.
The survey also found that the cost of alternative to move away from the mainframe is actually very high.
Russell says it is not necessarily about the process itself or the system software it runs, but how to go about with the integration pains of taking the various pieces together and how much one pays for the floor space.