"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."