Computerworld - IBM is looking for ways to bring mobile and social workloads onto mainframes as a way of keeping the expensive machines competitive in today's changing IT landscape.
This isn't the first time the company has tried to find new uses for mainframes. In the past, it has added chips to support specialty workloads such as Java and Linux applications. It has also enabled users to manage Power and x86 servers from mainframe consoles and introduced smaller "business-class" mainframes to attract new customers.
The next steps IBM is considering include making it easier for customers to run mobile and social networking applications on mainframes, said Doug Balog, general manager of IBM's System z mainframe business.
Such an approach would, for example, benefit banks that want to offer mobile apps but still want the power and resilience of a mainframe behind those apps, said Balog.
IBM is still figuring out the best way to do those kinds of things, but one possibility is to bring more of the company's WebSphere server software over to the System z. Another is to provide services and tools for porting social and mobile apps to the mainframe.
However, providing mobile access to mainframe data could present a problem, said IDC analyst Jean Bozman. "It's a platform that you want to be highly secure," she said.
In the near term, Balog sees "operational analytics" -- analyzing data in real time -- as a big driver of mainframe usage. Among other things, that could improve fraud detection or help companies identify upselling opportunities by, for example, analyzing the past behavior of customers who make purchases.
In the last quarter, the launch of IBM's EC12 system pushed the company's mainframe sales up 56%. However, IBM had seen declines in mainframe sales in the previous six quarters. Averaged out, Balog said, mainframe sales have had "three years of compound growth."
This version of this story was originally published in Computerworld's print edition. It was adapted from an article that appeared earlier on Computerworld.com.
Read more about Hardware in Computerworld's Hardware Topic Center.
- 15 Non-Certified IT Skills Growing in Demand
- How 19 Tech Titans Target Healthcare
- Twitter Suffering From Growing Pains (and Facebook Comparisons)
- Agile Comes to Data Integration
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- HP HAVEn: See the big picture in Big Data HP HAVEn is the industry's first comprehensive, scalable, open, and secure platform for Big Data. Enterprises are drowning in a sea of data...
- What Datapipe customers need to know about the new PCI DSS 3.0 compliance standard This handy quick reference outlines what PCI DSS 3.0 is, who needs to be compliant and how Alert Logic solutions address the new...
- The 12 PCI DSS 3.0 requirements addressed by Peer 1 Hosting This handy quick reference outlines the 12 PCI DSS 3.0 requirements, who needs to be compliant and how Alert Logic solutions address the...
- Defense Throughout the Vulnerability Life Cycle This whitepaper provides insight into how to leverage threat and log management technologies to protect your IT assets throughout their vulnerability life cycle.
- Meg Whitman presents Unlocking IT with Big Data During this Web Event you will hear Meg Whitman, President and CEO, HP discuss HAVEn - the #1 Big Data platform, as well...
- The New Way to Work Knowledge Vault This Knowledge Vault focuses on how, in today's increasingly virtual world, it's more important than ever to engage deeply with employees, suppliers, partners,... All Mainframes White Papers | Webcasts