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Why Big Iron

The concept of "RAS" - reliability, availability and serviceability - is a fundamental part of the mainframe view of the world. RAS applies to not only hardware but software components. For critical applications, this level of discipline is necessary; the cost of lost time can add up even for applications which are not mission critical. The mainframe environment is also rich in availability management tools which can help prevent service interruptions.

The mainframe environment has developed a mature security architecture. While it is still necessary to ensure that access control is given the necessary care, the necessary security infrastructure has been put in place to help ensure that the intended controls are not circumvented. System integrity problems are not glossed over or ignored altogether as may happen in other environments. Again, the mainframe is the benchmark by which other solutions are measured.

The mainframe environment supports data storage management tools which allow data backup, archival and migration of inactive data to lower cost media to be performed so that they are almost invisible to applications. The mainframe environment also facilitates consolidating the management of the computing resource, allowing for economies of scale in system and data administration.

The Dinosaur Myth discusses the total cost of ownership associated with various platforms.

Searching Google for

provides examples of marketing which claims to provide the same qualities in other environments. At this point in time, at least, most of it seems to be more flash than substance, but it does demonstrate that vendors in other environments recognize their value.

Software Asset Management

Mainframe Hardware

Big Iron