Advantages of Mainframe Computers
Mainframe computers offer incredible computing power for businesses that have time intensive applications that must be run such as payroll or sales. Mainframes still exist today and they are very common as part of a client server network as a server, or as a stand-alone application.
The advantage of mainframe computer is amazing with the amount of power it consumes. You can use a regular computer as a terminal, however, which gives users the ability to process smaller tasks on the computer and use the mainframe for more complex tasks, balancing its use and increasing the number of users that can benefit from its increased processing power.
Another major advantage of mainframe computers is that they are very stable compared to other types of computers which are useful in the usage environment where uptime is very important.
Mainframe computers can be used in multiple ways as the users connect to a mainframe with a terminal that has a screen and keyboard, but usually no processing device, relying on the mainframe to do their tasks. They can process millions of computer instructions per second and are an integral part of many large organizations to this day. The can also be integrated with PC’s, PC server farms, and more to act in harmony with all of a firm’s IT services.
For huge businesses where more daily transactions takes place, there mainframe computers provide to get a daily cycle done in less than a day. This goes beyond raw computing speed into the dominion of input and output speed, management of data in memory and application processing speed. Thus this ability to process data and applications quickly provides the ability to provide the real-time online customer service that everyone has come to expect.
Mainframe computers have server-oriented reliability and failover capability built into the hardware and the operating systems that run them which helps for the use of mainframe computers by large financial institutions, insurance companies and other organizations that require zero downtime. The operating systems that run mainframe computers include z/OS, VM, VSE/ESA and MVS/XA. These software bases are written for efficiency, reliability and security.
The security provided by mainframe operating systems also provide the flexibility to run server-class operating systems such as UNIX and Linux. Thus the organizations with the ability to use the strength of the mainframe flexibility where it is best applied while applying server-class technology where it can provide the most benefit. The mainframe environment provides the less fault-tolerant server-class machines with much more reliability than they would have in a stand-alone environment. This capability provides flexibility that server-class machines and operating systems simply cannot match.
Apart from many advantages mainframe computers have found some noticeable disadvantages is its cost, which is higher than a regular computer. Since the physical size and the hardware components of a mainframe computer are different from those of regular computer, they are more complicated to set up. Mainframe computers also need special operating systems and software to be able to take full advantage of their hardware, which complicates the installation process even more.
Since mainframe computer is accessed through a terminal, and the installation and configuration of each terminal takes time and money.