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System z: Dinosaur or Phoenix?

Jan 06, 2010, 12:34 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Paul Rubens)

"Scan through IT news on any given day, and there's a good chance you'll find a story about some large organization or another replacing its IBM mainframe with servers running UNIX, Linux — and sometimes even Windows.

"It's a reminder that smaller-scale servers — even Windows servers — can do far more than was possible in the past, at price points very different from mainframes. UNIX, Linux and Windows servers have confidently been making incursions into Big Iron Country for quite some time.

"That's not to suggest the mainframe's days are numbered — but sales of IBM's System z mainframes have certainly suffered markedly during the recession as organizations look to less-expensive commodity hardware alternatives.

"But here's something strange: Just before Christmas IBM announced Korea's largest credit card company, BC Card, had decided to go with an IBM System z mainframe to support its payment system, rather than alternative products from HP and Oracle."

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