Why IBM Still Making Mainframe Computers | What is it Used for Today

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The first mainframe computer was developed in 1930 by the famous Harvard researcher Howard Aiken. Back in those days, those were the only computers that could do serious mathematical calculations. However, these days, even the smartphone in your pocket can compute more than 10-20 times faster than those old relics.

And even though modern mainframes are way faster and more efficient, do we really need them? And why IBM still making mainframe computer?

The short answer is yes, we still use them, for data-intensive workloads. Continue reading below to find out more about what we use mainframe computers for.

Mainframe Computer

Why IBM Still Making Mainframe Computer

More or less all companies rely on the mainframe computer for the business. Because mainframe computer is so efficient, productive and secured in doing works. Though there are many technologies, IBM still manufacturing mainframe computer. The reasons are described below:

  1. E-commerce business and stock brokerage firms use mainframe computer to track customer orders. Mainframes are also used for controlling transactions of money, maintain and process hundreds of millions of information.
  2. Mainframe computers are used in most of the financial sectors for performing transactions processing, resource management etc.
  3. Car and flight manufacturers still manufacture products using mainframe computer. Because it needs a lot of calculations, perfect design and a lot of quality check which cannot be done except using the mainframe. Also, there must be a secure system so that the design or models cannot be hacked. All the things are possible because of the security system of the mainframe computer.
  4. Big entertainment business needs mainframe computer to make complex animations or VFX work.
  5. The mainframe is used in medical science too. The operations of the human and making of drugs should be too much accurate and risk-free. Nothing but mainframe can do this because of its supper accuracy and speed. Detailed diagnostics and cutting-edge operations are performed by using mainframe computers.
  6. Mainframe computers are largely used in military operations. Mainframes are used for tracking purposes. Communication between moving ships and so fast fighter planes need fast calculations and accuracy. Again, there must be so much security because if a simple information can be hacked then a full war can be lost. In this situation, nothing can defeat mainframe computer.

Mainframe Computer in the Security System

A mainframe computer is used in transactions of money and passing information. Companies need a secured system to perform all their works. But is mainframe capable of giving this much security? The answer is yes.

Data breaching is a common problem for the companies and nations. Giant companies like Yahoo, LinkedIn, and Facebook suffered because of data breaching. Even FBI couldn’t control this kind of situation. Hackers can expose private information of important personalities and organizations because of the unsecured system. No system can be 100% hack proof. But security experts say they can discourage and lessen the percentage of hacking by using a powerful system.
Mainframe computer actively monitors all the activities. It is a daydream for the hackers to alter a file inside a mainframe computer. They can try to temper a file. But it needs more than a genius brain. Blockchain, a security algorithm which was created for protecting BitCoin transactions is implemented in mainframe computer in order to prevent the data breach.

Most of the companies keep all the data in a mainframe computer. Even universities use mainframe computer to keep the data because of the security. It is a more secure system than keeping all the data here and there in small storing devices. So, it becomes easy to protect the data and monitor the activities because all the things are performed in a machine.

Modern Mainframe Computer

Most of the mainframe manufacturing companies stopped manufacturing mainframe computer. They now produce small computers like Pcs. IBM stopped manufacturing PCs in 2005. In 2014. IBM sold most of their hardware business. But they still manufacturing mainframe computer. In 2015, they announced a new frame named IBM System Z13. Some modern mainframe computers are IBM Z series, System Z9 and System Z10. They are much customized and modified and are able to fulfill most of the requirements of the industries.

Mainframe vs Supercomputer

The supercomputers are the most powerful computers of all time made by human being. Supercomputers and mainframe computers can do those tasks which general computer cannot do. For example, if an intel core i7 processor can perform 300 million instructions per second, then a supercomputer can perform about 1000 trillion instructions per second.

It actually cannot be said which one is better because both the mainframe and supercomputer are best in their own way. But we are giving you a comparison between them.

  1. Transaction processing like a commercial exchange of goods, services, and money can be handled better in a mainframe computer than a supercomputer.
  2. The supercomputer is not good as mainframe in inventory control and updating database.
  3. In terms of processing power, the supercomputer is far time better than a mainframe
  4. Computational ability and accuracy are higher in a supercomputer. The supercomputer is better where more accuracy of the calculation is needed.
  5. Supercomputer put all its power to execute few programs in order to gain a high speed. But mainframe computer executes all the tasks at the same time by using its power.

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

Will mainframe be replaced with cloud?

Yes, mainframe will most likely be replaced with cloud. Most companies that still use mainframe have already announced that they will go all in with cloud computing.

How many years mainframe will survive?

Even though cloud computing will take over, mainframe computers will still survive for years to come, especially for finance companies who don’t want to store their data on any 3rd party servers.

Does NASA still use IBM?

No, even though many organizations still use IBM mainframes, NASA unplugged their last mainframe on 2012.

Summing Up

Mainframe is a computer having the power greater than a mini computer and less than a supercomputer. After reading this article, now you know in where mainframe computer is used. It is used in almost all industries and companies. Its security system is so powerful like its hardware. IBM is still manufacturing this kind of computer because almost all the companies depend on a mainframe computer to get their work done. We hope, now you know all about mainframe computer and its uses.

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