Articles about Mainframe


Mainframe big boy Big Blue tries to drum up new biz via Linux

Big Blue is attempting to drum up new mainframe business with the launch of its LinuxOne machine. IBM has teamed up with Ubuntu outift Canonical to build two versions of a mainframe running Ubuntu Linux. The new mainframe comes in an "Emperor" version – which runs on the IBM z13 – and the smaller "Rockhopper", designed for “ …
Kat Hall, 17 Aug 2015
Screaming kid

Mainframe staffing dilemma bedevils CIO dependents

More than half a century after its birth, the mainframe poses conundrum for hundreds of CIOs. Mainframes are firmly ensconced as a critical piece of the IT infrastructure underpinning their business – just ask any of the traditional banks. The fear is that as those maintaining them retire or get outsourced, nobody will be left …
Gavin Clarke, 10 Jun 2015
Colossus computer from The Forbin Project

Michigan sues HP after 'botched' $49m upgrade leaves US state in 1960s mainframe hell

Michigan is suing HP after the state government grew tired of waiting for the tech biz to fulfill an IT contract signed a decade ago. Hewlett Packard had agreed to replace the US state's aging computer systems that power so much of the local government. The tech firm signed a $49m contract back in 2005 to replace Michigan's …
Iain Thomson, 22 Sep 2015

Unisys halts and catches fire: Mainframe builder dives into the red

Mainframe maker Unisys plunged into the red during its second quarter of 2015, posting losses of $58.2m (£37.6m). The losses quadrupled compared with its second quarter in 2014, when the biz dropped $12.1m over the three-month period. Overall revenues dropped five per cent to $765m (£494m). Nevertheless, chief exec Peter …
Kat Hall, 24 Jul 2015
Bitcoin punch cards

Chap mines Bitcoin with PUNCH CARDS and ancient mainframe

Vintage hardware enthusiast Ken Shirriff has shown that a model 1401 mainframe, which IBM announced in 1959, can mine Bitcoin. If, that is, your definition of mining includes “chugging away at the problem until pretty close to the heat-death of the universe.” Ken Shirriff used the Model 1401 housed at California's Computer …
Simon Sharwood, 25 May 2015
The EDSAC Gallery at the UK National Museum of Computing

Parts for Brit proto-mainframe EDSAC show up in USA

Original parts from the British proto-mainframe EDSAC have been found in the USA, boosting the project that aims to restore the computer to working order. The UK's National Computing Museum is keen to reboot EDSAC because it is was an early British effort at creating a commercial computer, and spawned the LEO range considered …
Simon Sharwood, 04 Feb 2015
Ken Sheriff's Mandelbrot printout, with IBM punch-cards

Mature mainframe madness prints Mandlebrot fractal in TWELVE MINUTES

A programmer better known for work on Arduino has shown off handy vintage mainframe skills, getting an ancient IBM 1401 to buzz away on its 1403 line printer to produce the classic Mandelbrot fractal image. It's not as trivial as it sounds. In this blog post on the “12-minute Mandelbrot”, Ken Shirriff explains that programming …
BMC Software logo

Newly-private BMC gets cloud/social/mainframe (!) religion

Newly-privatised BMC thinks it can re-invent - nay, disrupt - itself by cashing in on on all of 2014's biggest buzzwords: cloud, social, mobile and disruption. And mainframe, for good measure. The company's recently-appointed head of global sales Paul Appleby today told The Reg in Sydney today that one of the reasons he joined …
Simon Sharwood, 23 Oct 2014

RBS Group hopes £750m IT shakeup splurge will prevent next bank mainframe meltdown

RBS Group has spent £750m overhauling its IT – which includes replacing the systems at the heart of its mainframe mega-meltdown in 2012. The banking giant has established three separate batch schedulers to process transactions at NatWest, Ulster Bank Northern Ireland, and Ulster Bank Republic of Ireland. It's hoped this will …
Gavin Clarke, 06 May 2014
Tornado sucks data

Your mainframe's pegs not fitting in Amazon's elastic holes? Syncsort has a hammer for that

Syncsort wants to make life easier for Amazon cloud compute users who use data stored in mainframe storage silos and similar kit. Its solution? ETLaaS – or Extract, Transform and Load (ETL) as a Service. ETL products take data from a source, convert it as required, and then transfer it into the target system for processing. …
Chris Mellor, 20 May 2014
USB Stress Panic Button

Retiring greybeards force firms to retrain Java, .NET bods as mainframe sysadmins

New IT grads and Java and .NET jockies are being re-trained to run mainframes by big companies desperate to replace a generation of IT staff giving up work. That’s according to Compuware, who has released a study that says CIOs are growing concerned about the looming skills shortage in their mainframe rooms. They are concerned …
Gavin Clarke, 20 Feb 2014
Roughly 150kg of gold

CA follows the Riverbed, hopes to find cloudy Amazon mainframe gold

In a smart bit of niche identification and gap-filling, stuffy old CA Technologies is getting mainframe backup data to Amazon's cloud by going through Riverbed. With such a nifty move anybody would think CA has new management. Guess what? It has, with new CEO Michael Gregoire spurring the company on to do better. Start out with …
Chris Mellor, 18 Nov 2013
Air traffic control at NATS

REVEALED: Titsup flight plan mainframe borks UK air traffic control

Analysis London's airspace was effectively shut down on Friday afternoon after a flight data server fell over, the National Air Traffic Services (NATS) has confirmed to The Register after multiple sources gave us specific details of the cockup. Hundreds of flights were cancelled or diverted after NATS was forced to restrict the airspace …
Iain Thomson, 12 Dec 2014
IBM's System zEC12 mainframe

Mm, Linux-on-mainframe admin brains: IBM wolfs down Israeli upstart

Here's something you don't see very often: IBM making an acquisition that has to do with its System z mainframes. This week, Big Blue snapped up Computing Solutions Leaders, which was founded in 2004 and which is located in Herzliya Pituach, Israel. The small company has expertise in managing Linux and virtualization on IBM …
IBM logo

IBM CEO doesn't forget Parris in Power and Mainframe top job lob

Back in April, IBM CEO Ginni Rometty switched the roles of her chief strategist and the head of Systems and Technology Group, and the changes are now rippling through the various IBM server divisions. Four months ago, long-time IBMers Tom Rosamilia and Rod Adkins switched desks. Adkins had been running Systems and Technology …

EMC: We're turning VMAX into mainframe tape KILLER

EMC has turned its VMAX array into a mainframe virtual tape library – the DLm8000, with synchronous replication – in a move that could see tapes banished from mainframe operations. The company last year bought Bus-Tech, a mainframe virtual tape library vendor. EMC has a range of Disk Library for mainframe (DLm) products, …
Chris Mellor, 06 Aug 2012

Unisys cranks Xeon mainframe oomph above legacy CMOS iron

Mainframe maker Unisys has finally done it, pushing the performance of its Xeon-based mainframes in the ClearPath Libra family, which runs its MCP operating system, above the CMOS-based legacy Libra machines, and it won't be long before its Dorado family of OS 2200 mainframes are faster on Xeon iron than on native CMOS …
Crop of doctor with pen and clipboard

NHS Scotland to refresh creaking, 25-year-old apps

NHS Scotland is dragging its big iron software into the 21st century by putting out a call for suppliers to replace some very dusty applications, which in some cases are a quarter of a century old. A contract notice for the Mainframe Solutions Transformation Programme was published in the Official Journal of the EU, and the …
Paul Kunert, 18 May 2015
An original member of the System/360 family announced in 1964, the Model 50 was the most powerful unit in the medium price range.

IBM warns mainframe shops of 2013 price hike

When your customers pay millions of dollars for your machines and then spend many tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars per month – and sometimes much more – on monthly license fees for your software, you can't just spring a price increase on them one day. You have to give fair warning so they can budget for the price …
graph up

EC resolves antitrust probe into IBM mainframe biz

IBM rivals now have a better chance of competing with the tech giant in the mainframe market, after the European Commission got Big Blue to loosen its grip on the business. In a legally binding agreement, IBM will make spare parts and technical information "swiftly available". It will do this, the EC added, under commercially …
Kelly Fiveash, 15 Dec 2011

Squeaky bum time for server makers: Dollar dashes buyers' budgets

A currency noose hanging around the neck of customers’ budgets in Europe looks set to throttle server spending, according to IDC. Appreciation of the US dollar has forced American tech makers to increase their prices this year on several occasions, and this disrupting impact is tipped to worsen as the unsettled economic and …
Paul Kunert, 09 Sep 2015

Unisys watches ClearPath mainframe sales climb

The latest line of ClearPath mainframes from Unisys, launched in October and based on Intel's latest Xeon E5 processors, sold a bit better than expected in the final quarter of last year. A mainframe selling better than expected is news by definition, and good news for Unisys in particular since the company's top brass has …
IBM Watson QA Power7 cluster

IBM's Watson-as-a-cloud: Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's another mainframe

Analysis IBM's attempt to spin its supercomputer-cum-TV star Watson into a $1bn business unit may eventually boost Big Blue's bottom line – but going from beating Jeopardy! to defeating cancer is going to be harder than expected. The system's decision engine and advanced natural-language processing technology was launched as a new …
Jack Clark, 10 Jan 2014

Ellison aims his first Oracle 'mainframe' at Big Blue

Larry Ellison has launched the first mainframe-class machine that he can correctly say he made sure came to market, and now he is going to take a run at IBM's mainframe and Unix server businesses. What's more, it looks like he will to be able to make some credible arguments as to why customers running Oracle software – and …
IBM's new mainframe

MAINFRAMES are SO NOT DEAD: IBM's launched a new one

At least twenty years after pundits first pronounced the death of the mainframe, IBM has released a new one. Of course, the proof of the pudding will be in the market, but IBM will be hoping that the billion dollars it's poured into developing the new z13 mainframe will get the big end of town as excited as Big Blue itself is. …

'Mainframe blowout' knackered millions of RBS, NatWest accounts

A hardware fault in one of the Royal Bank of Scotland Group's mainframes prevented millions of customers from accessing their accounts last night. A spokesman said an unspecified system failure was to blame after folks were unable to log into online banking, use cash machines or make payments at the tills for three hours on …
Gavin Clarke, 07 Mar 2013
BMC Software logo

Big mainframe shops embiggen, says BMC survey

Like mainframe-makers IBM and Unisys, BMC Software gets a sizable portion of its $2.12bn in annual revenues – and presumably a disproportionately larger portion of its profits – from those venerable old card wallopers all gussied up as modern servers. This is why BMC has been conducting surveys over the past few years on the …

IBM fuels up zNext mainframe for launch

It looks like Big Blue is getting ready to launch its next-generation mainframe, appropriately enough nicknamed the zNext system, and that it will come to market a little bit earlier than expected. IBM is not hosting a big press event to launch the new machine, but it is having an online webcast with System z bigwigs and a few …

Cisco strengthens its hardware-defined networking products

Cisco has introduced a new Fibre Channel fabric switch to better connect virtualised servers to all-flash arrays, seeing a rise in back-end array connection port-counts and speed needed to satisfy all-flash array IO demands. It's also bumped up its mainframe FICON connect speed and spread 40GbitE support across its Nexus …
Chris Mellor, 22 May 2015
The Register breaking news

Banged-up Brit hacker hacks into his OWN PRISON'S 'MAINFRAME'

A UK hacker behind bars for computer fraud hacked into his prison's computer system during an IT lesson. Nicholas Webber, 21, of Southsea, Hampshire, was able to access the network after being allowed to join the jail's technology classes. Webber was sent down for five years in May 2011 for masterminding the infamous …
John Leyden, 04 Mar 2013
SUSE Cloud logo

SUSE Linux owner Attachmate gobbled by Micro Focus for $2.3bn

Attachmate, the software shop that headhunted Novell and SUSE Linux, is itself being bought out by Micro Focus International. The mainframe and COBOL specialist is acquiring Attachmate Group from its parent company Wizard in a deal calculated at $2.3bn before costs. Micro Focus is taking Attachmate Group in exchange for 86.60 …
Gavin Clarke, 16 Sep 2014

Unisys swings to profit on ClearPath mainframe spike

Mainframe maker and services provider Unisys raked in more dough than it might have expected in its second quarter, thanks to a jump in sales of its ClearPath mainframes – and it used the occasion and the cash to prepay some if its debts to get its balance sheet in order. Knocking the balance sheet into shape and stabilizing …
fingers pointing at man

EMC trundles out deduping mainframe VTL

EMC is bringing out a mainframe virtual tape library to cover both primary and backup data needs. It is an update of the Bus-Tech MDL-100v, an intermediate box sitting between a mainframe and open systems virtual tape libraries (VTL) such as EMC's Disk Library, a FalconStore software VTL, a Quantum DXi array or a Sepaton array. …
Chris Mellor, 08 Aug 2011

RBS Mainframe Meltdown: A year on, the fallout is still coming

A year ago, RBS experienced its Chernobyl moment – an incident when a case of simple human error by those running critical systems resulted in a crisis. IT staff badly botched routine maintenance of the IBM mainframe handling millions of customers' accounts – a system processing 20 million transactions a day. The mistake was …
Gavin Clarke, 21 Jun 2013

IBM pushes the Accelerate, makes one Big Blue storage family

Much ado in Big Blue land today; it is making XIV available as Spectrum Accelerate software-defined storage, while also rebranding GPFS as Spectrum Scale in Linux mainframe environments. There's also a Spectrum Storage family coming. Based on IBM website information we've seen it looks as if the giant is developing its software- …
Chris Mellor, 17 Feb 2015
IBM's System zEC12 mainframe

IBM's z12 mainframe engine makes each clock count

Hot Chips When you charge hundreds of thousands of dollars per core for an engine that is designed to run full-out all day doing online transaction processing and all night running single-threaded big batch jobs, you have no choice but to believe in higher clock speeds and doing anything and everything to boost that single-thread …

Mainframe shops (a little) more optimistic about System z

There are only about 4,000 IBM mainframe shops in the world, but they sure do spend a lot of money. And according to a new survey, they are going to keep on spending it for the foreseeable future. IBM is not the only player with skin in the System z game. BMC Software, which sells provisioning, monitoring, and management …
register logo

CIOs: What are you forecasting for next year?

Reg Roundtable We all want to know what the future holds and while we could ask analysts, researchers and marketeers, we’d much rather hear what real world tech leaders are planning. That’s why on October 21, The Register Roundtable will be asking: What are real CIOs forecasting for the next year? Vendors and service providers may have a …
Team Register, 09 Sep 2015
Archer cracks the ISIS mainframe's password

Share-crazy millennials spaff passwords ALL OVER the workplace

Many (45 per cent) of workers say they could access a former employer’s systems through old, unchanged passwords, according to a survey by password management outfit Dashlane. Around a third (30 per cert) of workers said that their employer never changes passwords, or only do so when there is an issue, and this goes some way …
John Leyden, 30 Sep 2015
Are you being served?

IDC says server-based storage sales are soaring – and Dell's pwning the market

IDC’s latest quarterly storage tracker shows EMC clawing back some lost ground, HP growing, IBM overtaking NetApp – and Dell selling the most storage capacity of all. IDC_storage_tracker_Q2_2015 IDC Storage Tracker, Q2, 2015 The research house tracks vendor and original design manufacturer (ODM) storage market shares based …
Chris Mellor, 07 Sep 2015

IBM guns down Neon's mainframe accelerator in Texas

The hired legal guns were blazing, and when the smoke cleared, the US District Court for the Western District of Texas, located in Austin, granted a permanent injunction in favor of IBM in a long-running lawsuit Neon Enterprise Software, killing the controversial zPrime mainframe acceleration program. The zPrime tool was …
Archer cracks the ISIS mainframe's password

'Use 1 capital' password prompts make them too predictable – study

A new study has found that password structure is a key flaw in making login IDs hard to guess. Security firm Praetorian analyzed 34 million stolen passwords from the LinkedIn, eHarmony and Rockyou breaches and found that 50 per cent of all passwords followed 13 basic structures. This lack of entropy makes it possible to use …
John Leyden, 27 Apr 2015
An original member of the System/360 family announced in 1964, the Model 50 was the most powerful unit in the medium price range.

Easy to use, virus free, secure: Aaah, how I miss my MAINFRAME

Mention mainframe computers today and most people will conjure an image of something like an early analogue synthesiser crossed with a brontosaurus. Think a hulking, room-sized heap of metal and cables with thousands of moving parts that requires an army of people just to keep it plodding along. A no-name PC today would blow a …
Dave Mandl, 16 Nov 2012

Comparex: Just two buyers left in sales negotiations

Microsoft reseller titan Comparex has whittled down its list of prospective buyers to just two, The Channel can reveal. A sales process for the pan-regional reseller began some months ago with investment bank Jefferies sending out a commercial prospectus or Information Memorandum. Sources in the investment community told us …
Paul Kunert, 18 Sep 2015

ODMs getting fatter in Brit server space as big boys fight over scraps

Taiwanese ODMs are making some headway – albeit from a relatively small base – in the battle for the hearts and wallets of Brit server buyers, official sales statistics show. The whitebox community, which already custom builds boxes for the world’s largest service providers from Google to Facebook in North America, grew UK …
Paul Kunert, 14 Sep 2015
fingers pointing at man

EMC buys into mainframe VTL market

EMC is the Dyson of storage companies, hoovering up other storage companies with no loss of appetite however many it buys. It has just sucked up mainframe virtual tape library (VTL) supplier Bus-Tech. Mainframes can use tape for backup data and also during normal operations with a tape library connected by FICON or ESCON channel …
Chris Mellor, 11 Nov 2010
Unisys sets LinuxWorld alight

Unisys looks to ‘streamline’ as losses increase, sales fall

Losses at mainframe maker Unisys plunged deeper into the red in the company's first quarter of 2015, falling a further $10 million (£6.6 million) to $27.4 million (£18.1 million). First-quarter 2015 sales fell 5 per cent to $721 million (£476 million), when compared with the previous year. The company hopes to makes savings of …
Kat Hall, 24 Apr 2015

Attack of the IT monuments men: Museum wants your kit

Reg events If you think a technological legacy should be more than some undocumented code, a pile of scrap tin and half a draft user manual you really should come along to El Reg’s June 24 lecture. Kevin Murrell, co-founder of The National Museum of Computing in Bletchley (yes, that one), will be explaining why he really wants you to take …
Joe Fay, 02 Jun 2015
graph up

IBM re-ups mainframe interface licensing with EMC

IBM would prefer to sell its own DS or XIV series of disk arrays to its System z mainframe customers, but mainframe shops sometimes have other ideas, such as buying Symmetrix DMX or VMAX arrays. And that's why Big Blue has extended an interoperability and technology licensing agreement with disk array rival EMC. Under the multi- …

IBM faces mainframe biz European antitrust probe

IBM faces yet another antitrust headache today, after French mainframe open source outfit TurboHercules filed a complaint with European competition watchdogs. TurboHercules has accused Big Blue of denying customers the right to run IBM's mainframe operating system on anything other than IBM iron. The Paris-based company filed …
Kelly Fiveash, 23 Mar 2010