What is Mainframe Computer?
Definition & Meaning – Mainframe computer likes as a big centralized machine that contains the large memory, huge storage space, multiple high grade processors, so it has ultra processing power compare to standard computer systems. So, mainframe computer system’s importance is increasing for large scale organization, scientific research, consumer statistics, and census data, because it is capable to execute multiple complex programs concurrently at the ultra speed. Today, most eminent vendors of mainframe computers are IBM, Hitachi, Amdahl, and Unisys.
UNIVAC I (UNIVersal Automatic Computer I) mainframe computers was first developed by J. Presper Eckert and John Mauchly in USA, in 1951.
Z operating system is used with 64-bit O/S especially to IBM mainframe computer, and it is designed by IBM organization.
Read More – What is Supercomputer and its Types
Who use Mainframe Computer?
Mainframe computer is best platform to execute millions of transactions in every single second. So mainframe computers are used in the large scale organization, because they have to need for processing the massive data at once in every second.
There are some companies, which are used to mainframe computer system such as Wallmart, HSBN, Indial Railways, ICICI and HDFC banks, Tesco, Kenya Power, Vodafone, AIG, Coca Cola, RBI, DHL, FORD, NASDAQ, Nike, Tata, Travelport, UPS, USA Pstal Services, and more.
Components of Mainframe Computer
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There are some major components of mainframe computer because they play vital role to improve the entire outstanding performance of mainframe computer system.
CPU has various printed circuits boards, memory modules, different processors, and interfaces for each channels. All channels works as a communication medium in between input/output terminal and memory modules. Main objective of using all those channels is to transfer data and for managing the system components.
Control unit is also called bus. In mainframe computer system has several buses for different devices such as tape, disk etc, and further it is linked to its storage unit area.
Storing unit is used to perform different tasks such as insertion data, saving, retrieving, and access data. Storing unit contains the several devices such as hard drives; tape drives, punch cards etc, and these are controlled by CPU. These devices have capacity million time faster to PC.
Mainframe computer system consist multiprocessor unit; it means that it has multiple processors for processing the massive data in small time frame with using (Error handling and interrupt handling).
Mainframe’s motherboard contains the several high speed processors, main memory (RAM), and different hardware parts which are performed their function through its bus architecture. In this motherboard, 128 bit buses concept is used.
Cluster Controller System
This is special device that is designed to link channel terminal to host terminal system. Cluster controller system has two variants such as Channel-attached cluster controllers and link-attached cluster controllers.
Mainframe computer system leads to some techniques like as IOCDS, ESCON, FICON, CHIPD, and more.
ICODS – ICODS stands for I/O Control Data Set.
ESCON – ESCON stands for Enterprise Systems Connection.
FICON – FICON stands for Fiber Connector.
Functions of Mainframe Computer
Working of mainframe computer is divided into different segments, below every segments are described.
Data Warehouse System
Every computer contains the hard disk for storing the data for long life, but this mainframe computer saves the whole data within itself into application form. When all users tries to login from remotely with its connected terminals then mainframe computer allows all remote terminals for accessing their all files as well as programs.
Preserve Authentication Access Permission
Due to store all data and program files into one mainframe system, it can lead to enhance its productivity as well as efficiency. Administrators have access to insert all applications and data into mainframe system, and they can decide how many users should be access for them. So, mainframe system has great firm-wall for harmful intruder’s attacks.
Allot Processor Time Frame
Mainframe computer system contains the limited number of processing time to split into all users, who are logged in presently with system. Mainframe system decides that which types of priorities should be linked with different types of users. Administrator has power to select that how to assign processor time.
Examples of Mainframe Computer
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There are several examples of different types of mainframe computer.
Types of Z Series Mainframe Computer
- IBM z15
- IBM z14
- IBM System z13
- IBM z Enterprise System
- IBM System z10
- IBM System z9
Other Types of Mainframe Computer
- Tianhe-1A; NUDT YH Cluster
- Jaguar; Cray XT5
- Nebulae; Dawning TC3600 Blade
- TSUBAME 2.0; HP Cluster Platform 3000SL
- Hopper; Cray XE6
- System z9
- System z10 servers
- HP mainframe
- IBM 370, S/390
- Fujitsu’s ICL VME
- Hitachi’s Z800
- I Series System
- AS/400 System
- 34/36 System
Mainframe Computer Uses
Mainframe computer is used in several different areas, explain below each one.
Applications of Mainframe Computer are
Health Care Sector
Health care organizations contain the personalized information of every patient, so they contact them for their treatment. These companies maintain all record of millions patients related to their disease, medicine, and what appointment schedule they have. So, here mainframe computer system is used for executing massive data in small duration.
Mainframe system allows privileging each single patient for accessing his individual data along with privacy.
In the defense area, mainframe computer system is used to pass massive information in different areas with protect such as land, ship, planes, and home base as well.
Mainframe system helps to provide weather condition, trace accurate data to target location, and use the GPS for doing preparation to attack.
Education is also very big sector, such as international university where to need track lot of persons such as employees, teachers, student, and other. So mainframe helps to store and maintain all information related to their employees and students, and it allows to access information for top management.
Today, retail industry is growing rapidly. Some large retail companies have massive customer base, so mainframe computer system is best option for monitoring their inventory with accurate level, and it is able to execute of massive transaction (billions) in short duration. If, any large organization gets any one miscalculation in entire entries then it can lead to big problem due to misinterpretation.
Other Applications are
- Banking Sector
- Stock exchange
- Research Center
- Ticket reservation in railway and airlines
- Credit card Verification Insurance Sector
- Finance Sector
Features & Characteristics of Mainframe Computer
Read More – Characteristics of Supercomputer
- Mainframe computer allows to process huge amount of data simultaneously without getting any malicious attacks.
- Mainframe computers are more popular due to their long life performance, because it can run smoothly up to 50 years after its proper installation.
- Mainframe application programs get outstanding performance due to their large scaled memory management.
- Mainframe computer systems are capable to share their over workload on the other multiple processors and I/O terminals, and due to this process enhances its performance.
- Mainframe systems have ability to manage different complicated operating systems such as UNIX, VMS, and other IBM O/S like as Z/OS, Z/VM.
- Mainframe systems have less probability in getting any errors, and bugs during processing time. If any time, some errors tries to enter in the system then they are able to remove them.
- Mainframe systems are designed to support “Tightly Coupled Clustering Technology”, due to this feature; it can manage approximate 32 systems along with single system image. If system gets fails due to any hardware component damage then running tasks could be shifted to other live system, and any data do not corrupt in this entire process.
- Mainframe system is eligible to support maximum Input/output devices.
- Mainframe system is able to execute multiple programs concurrently.
- In mainframe system, virtual storage system can be used.
- It can generate I/O bandwidth in large amount.
- It supports to Zero fault tolerant computing system.
- It is capable to manage several users.
- It can also support centralized computing system.
Advantages of Mainframe Computer
Ultra Computing Power
Mainframe computer is capable to process huge data and run complicated applications with ultra computing speed.
Mainframe computer can support to extra big power processors, and it can be expended with adding multiple ultra power processors, memory, and storage device when to require of processing huge data concurrently.
With using its Virtualization property, Mainframe computer system can be divided into small logical segments for eliminating the memory limitation, and we can great computing performance.
Mainframe computer system is able to identify their errors and bugs, and it can self recover of them without any other embedded resources. Today, Modern mainframe computer systems are capable to run frequently for 40 to 50 years without getting any errors.
If, mainframe computer system gets errors during processing time then it is capable to fix them without degrading its performance in short duration.
Mostly, mainframe computer are used by large scale organizations because they need to secure their confidential data. So, mainframe computer system allows to more attention on authentication protection for storing data.
Mainframe computer system’s Customization is performed as per the client’s requirement. Mainframe computer can support multiple operating systems at same time.
Mainframe computer systems are getting more popularity due to their long lasting performance (up to 40 years).
Mainframe computer system can support millions of transactions per second.
It can control the millions of users and applications concurrently.
Disadvantages of Mainframe Computer
- Mainframe systems are very expensive, and these types of computer cannot be used in the home. Due to its more processing power, they are used by large scale companies, banks, and other government sectors.
- In mainframe computer system, we can use the normal operating system such as Windows and Android. In mainframe system is used the custom operating system and hardware as the client need, and they are more costly.
- Mainframe computer system requires the more space and less temperature.
- If, any errors or bugs are occurred while performing the massive task, then need the well trained staff for eliminating the errors.
- Entire system can gets down due to major damage of hardware component’s system.
- Difficult to read its instructions which are used on the command based interface.
- It Consume more resources.