The Arcati Mainframe Yearbook 2008 is available for download free from www.arcati.com/newyearbook08. It’s full of interesting stuff, but particularly interesting are the results of the user survey.
Only users from sites that actually had a mainframe were included in the survey results – although nine additional people who didn’t have a mainframe completed the survey! Respondents all completed a survey on the Arcati site during December 2007. 42% were from Europe and 36% from North America, with 22% from the rest of the world.
48% of the respondents worked in companies with upwards of 10,000 employees worldwide, while 21% had 1001 to 5000 staff. 11% of respondents had 0-200 staff and similarly 11% had 5001-10000. In terms of MIPS 41% of respondents (down from last year’s 47%) had fewer than 1000 MIPS installed, 30% fell into the mid-sized category between 1000 and 10,000 MIPS, and 23% were at the high end.
Looking at MIPS growth produced some interesting results. Larger, more mature businesses (above 10,000 MIPS) were mostly experiencing healthy growth – with nearly 30% in the 26-50% range. However, over 10% of sites in the 500-10,000 MIPS range were experiencing a decline, while at the same time 42% were experiencing 10-25% growth. Sites below 500 MIPS had a similarly mixed picture. Just over 28% of respondents said that their MIPS growth was static or in decline, whereas just over 28% reported growth above the 10% mark. The mainframe market does appear to be quite fragmented with competitive pressures at the lower end of the mainframe market.
Opinion is clearly divided over the role of the mainframe in new applications. Some companies regard the mainframe as a separate legacy environment while others are leveraging the strengths of large systems by using them to deploy new workloads and technologies. 48% of organizations said that their mainframes participated partly or fully in Web services. 41% say they run Java-based applications on the mainframe. Also, 68% of organizations were Web-enabling their CICS sub-systems, with 62% Web-enabling DB2.
There are a huge number of other gems of information in the survey. Comfortingly, it concludes that the "mainframe offers an increasingly cost-effective, secure, and powerful platform for companies that have the necessary background and expertise in place to support it".
Download the whole Yearbook for yourself.