Irving Wladawsky-Berger: Reflections on the Longevity of Mainframes

At the end of August, IBM announced the latest member of its mainframe family, the zEnterprise EC12.  As pointed out in the announcement, the new system is a result of more than $1B in R&D investments over the past four years, resulting in major improvements in performance, security, availability and other key enterprise features.  But perhaps, what is most impressive about this announcement, is the longevity of the IBM mainframe, which is now in its 48th year.  Few computer families having major announcements in 2012 could trace their vintage to the 1980s, let alone the 1960s.  There is something pretty unique about the mainframe being not only alive but well after all these years.

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