Survey: IDC Sees Rise in Mainframe Spending Over 5 Years

Over the next five years, nearly half of private and government users of mainframes say they plan to increase spending on hardware and software to leverage mainframe-based resources, according to an IDC survey.

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Over the next five years, private and government users of mainframes say they plan to increase spending on hardware and software to leverage mainframe-based resources, according to an IDC survey.

One key factor promoting renewed spending in mainframe resources is IBM’s implementation of its specialized processor strategy, according to IDC executives directing the study.

“Customers are finding that new workloads, including Linux-based and Java-based workloads, can leverage the mainframe's built-in security and high levels of availability, by running them on mainframe specialty processors, such as the IFL, zIIP and zAAP processors,” said Jean Bozman, research vice president with IDC’s Enterprise Platforms Group, in a statement. “This pattern of adoption is placing software licensing costs on a lower price schedule for these new workloads than if they were running natively on the IBM System z hardware platform.”

The survey also demonstrates that mainframe users are discovering ‘blended approach to deploying and maintaining workloads,” Bozman added.  This deployment approach carries longtime workloads forward on IBM System z, even as customers bring new workloads onto the mainframe, she noted. 

The IDC study is titled Mainframe Directions in the Multi-Platform Data Center 2009-2013: Today's Workloads and Future Outlook. To gather information, IDC conducted a Web-based survey of 300 mainframe-knowledgeable IT experts and decision makers during the Winter and Spring of 2009. 

Other notable findings from IDC’s mainframe survey:

  • IDC predicts changes in storage architectures that support mainframe applications and operations.  As more people use existing applications, organizations must increase their storage capacities.
  • Many respondents said they plan additional investments in the System z platform over the next two-to-five years because of the system’s high availability, reliability, and security for important applications.
  • Respondents rated “processing power” and “system reliability/uptime” as the most important reasons for hosting applications on the mainframe,
  • Respondents rated “lower cost” as the most important reason for migrating applications off the mainframe.

 

"The positive outlook for the mainframe is also driven by specific initiatives designed to improve the utility and operational efficiency of the platform from the perspectives of highly scalable operations, ability to run new workloads, and total cost of operations (TCO)," said Tim Grieser, program vice president, Enterprise System Management Software in a statement.




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