The Mainframe vs. the Server Farm: A Comparison


 Let’s take a look at what the mainframe really is, and consider its use cases.

Mainframe Workloads

What do you use a mainframe for? Complex, data-intensive workloads, both batch and high-volume online transaction processing (OLTP). For example, banks do a lot of both. When customers access their accounts online that is OLTP. It is real-time and interactive. After hours banks typically run batch jobs: sending out customer statements, billing, daily totals, interest calculations, reminders, marketing emails, and reporting. This may mean processing terabytes of data in a short time, and that is what mainframes excel at. Health care, schools, government agencies, electric utilities, factory operations, enterprise resource planning, and delivering online entertainment are all good candidates for mainframes. The Internet of Things–PCs, laptops, smartphones, vehicles, security systems, “smart” appliances, and utility grids–are all well-served by mainframes.

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