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Mainframes Make News, Episode 2

There are two reasons mainframes have survived: They handle big apps very well, and there's little benefit to redoing much of this software to run on other architectures. And mainframes, if configured right, are greener than a Tiger Woods dream. The highest-end IBM System z mainframe, for instance, can act as 1,500 separate servers.

I looked into the System z and while it's designed to run Linux VMs, I was told by an expert I trust that there was no architectural reason it couldn't run Windows, as well.

Well, one ISV apparently found a way to make it do so. Mantissa Corp.'s z/VM tool is being prepped, and if it works large shops may be able to save massive amounts of electricity by consolidating Windows servers onto mainframes. That should make two monopolies, IBM and Microsoft, very happy. The electric companies may be less pleased.

Do you still care about mainframes? Big answers to this big iron question can be submitted to dbarney@redmondmag.com.

Posted by Doug Barney on 03/27/2009 at 1:16 PM


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