Feeds

Why you can't move a mainframe with a cloud

Time to get hybrid

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Clouds in my coffee

CA Technologies did its own survey, and rather than just whispering the C-Word in one part of the survey, it based the whole premise of the conversation with 300 mainframe shops on this question: Is the mainframe the ultimate cloud platform?

This study, which was conducted only in Europe by Vanson Bourne on behalf of CA Technologies and which you can read here, had 79 per cent of mainframe shops saying that their mainframes would be "an integral part of their cloud computing strategies. Of those polled, 70 per cent said that cloud computing would sustain or extend their mainframe environments, 74 per cent said the mainframe will have a role in any cloud computing initiative at their company. Survey respondents came from the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Benelux, Scandinavia, Russia, Poland, Turkey, and the Czech Republic.

The mainframe has its issues, as any proprietary platform does. But the IBM mainframe is under stress in particular because of the graying of the workforce that understands how to make these machines sit up and bark. Averaged across all countries, about 44 per cent of the respondents to the CA survey said the aging of the mainframe workforce and the difficulty in finding replacements for retiring workers will make the mainframe less viable in the future. Still, 82 per cent of the companies polled in the CA survey said they expected to use the mainframe the same or more in the future as they do today. And the big reason why? Because mainframes are reliable and understood, even if they are pricey.

All of this talk of cloud computing and hybrid architectures probably sounds familiar to people who have been around data centers for a couple of decades. Minicomputers surrounded mainframes two decades ago and sucked workloads off the big iron, to be followed in short order by Unix machines and then client/server workloads. Then along came the commercialization of the Internet and its Web technologies. And somehow, thanks to the vast fortunes that mainframe shops have spent on databases and applications, the mainframes have persisted at thousands of companies.

The fact that x64-based private clouds can arguably be built with mainframe-like capabilities will no doubt pull even more applications off some mainframes. But IBM's zBX strategy could, if it has some real meat to it instead of some pretty block diagrams, pull just as many workloads back onto a hybrid mainframe that gives mainframers more control and IBM more profits until the next wave hits. We'll see how this tug of war turns out in about two or three years. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
It's Big, it's Blue... it's simply FABLESS! IBM's chip-free future
Or why the reversal of globalisation ain't gonna 'appen
'Hmm, why CAN'T I run a water pipe through that rack of media servers?'
Leaving Las Vegas for Armenia kludging and Dubai dune bashing
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
CAGE MATCH: Microsoft, Dell open co-located bit barns in Oz
Whole new species of XaaS spawning in the antipodes
Microsoft and Dell’s cloud in a box: Instant Azure for the data centre
A less painful way to run Microsoft’s private cloud
AWS pulls desktop-as-a-service from the PC
Support for PCoIP protocol means zero clients can run cloudy desktops
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.