Paradigms shift, don't fade: Mainframe support steady

According to a BMC Software survey, the mainframe isn't growing, but sure isn't dying either.

Mainframe usage is expected to grow or hold steady over the next year as these tried and true---some would say downright tired---monoliths continue to chug along in the data center.

BMC Software on Monday outlined the findings of its annual mainframe user survey. The survey was based on 1,700 respondents. Sixty percent of them were BMC customers. Roughly 70 percent of respondents were line managers with the remainder being director-level positions and higher.

According to the survey, 84 percent of respondents saw growing or steady MIPS usage. MIPS (Million Instructions Per Second) is a common measure of mainframe usage. In a nutshell, the mainframe isn't growing, but sure isn't dying either.

This survey highlights something Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff said last week. At the Gartner Symposium conference, Benioff noted that tech paradigms shift, but it's not a zero-sum game. Sure, cloud computing may dent on-premise software, but the traditional applications won't disappear. The mainframe lives on. As will data centers. In other words, beware of proclamations that any technology will totally disappear.

The continuing life of the mainframe is exhibit A of what Benioff was talking about.

Among the key findings from BMC's mainframe survey:

  • Half of respondents plan to migrate to IBM's DB2 for z/OS offering in the next 18 months. BMC on Monday also said it would support the latest DB2 10 for z/OS.
  • Transaction volumes---many of BMC's respondents were financial services companies---are driving MIPS growth.

  • Cost cutting is the highest priority among respondents.

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