Sunday, 14 November 2010

Mainframes still not all turned off yet!!

BMC published an interesting survey at the end of October. There were more than 1700 mainframe users participating in the survey, and about half of the organizations surveyed have revenues in excess of US$1 billion. I think it’s generally assumed that the total number of mainframe sites globally is between 6000 and 7000.

Highlights of the survey included the findings that 84% of respondents expected to see growing or steady MIPS usage on the platform, with almost 60% anticipating that the mainframe will attract new workloads over the next year.

Against that, 37% agree that it will be a viable platform, mostly running legacy applications and not attracting new workloads. In addition, 4% considered that the mainframe is not a viable platform and companies should consider their exit strategies over the next five years.

The survey found, perhaps not surprisingly, that reducing IT costs in the next year was an important issue. 65% of respondents stated that reducing costs was one of their top four priorities. Other topics in those top four priorities were disaster recovery (34%), application modernization (30%), and business/IT alignment (29%).

The survey found more than 50% of large IT shops indicating they would expand their use of specialty engines in the next 24 months, with zIIP engines being the specialty engine of choice.

The also survey found a strong interest in hybrid management tools across z/OS, z/Linux, and other operating systems. Monitoring and event automation was cited as an important cross-platform tool by 74% of respondents, with similarly high responses for system/task automation (73%), workload/batch management (69%), and performance tuning (66 percent).

The survey found that 50 percent of respondents plan to migrate to DB2 for z/OS V10 in the next 18 plus months.

Tucked away in the report we find 10% of respondents saying that using their System z machines to run cloud computing or SaaS (Software as a Service) applications was an important priority for them in the coming year.

If you’re interested in surveys, you’ll be interested to know that you can still complete the Arcati Mainframe Yearbook 2011 user survey at The new Yearbook will be published early in January next year.

And if you want to find out more about mainframe users’ opinions about cloud computing, you can join a CA webinar entitled From Here to Eternity: The Mainframe as a Mainstay of the Enterprise. It’s on Wednesday 17 November between 11:30am and 12:30pm EST. One of the panellists is yours truly. You can sign up for the webinar at

BTW the title of this blog refers to the much-quoted prediction by Stewart Alsop, editor-in-chief of InfoWorld in 1991, that the last mainframe in the world would be unplugged in 1996!

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