Advantages and disadvantages of mainframe computer

2 min

Definition of mainframe computer

A mainframe computer is a large computer with hundreds of processors. It can process a larger amount of smaller tasks quickly. A mainframe computer is smaller than a supercomputer. The supercomputer is the larger and fastest computer ever made.

Mainframe computers have the size of a refrigerator. Before 2000, these computers were big in size covering the whole room. But now these computers have decreased in size and improve in performance.

Price of mainframe computer starts from $75,000.

Mainframe Computer

Advantages of mainframe computer

Reliability, availability and serviceability: These computers are better in performance and are reliable. As these computers are also used for aeroplane guidance so they are 100% error free.

High-end scalability: They are scalable in the sense that more hardware i.e. processors and memory can be added if needed. In mainframe computer, more than 600 processors are directly managed by the operating system while many other processors are connected whose work is to move data within the mainframe computer.

Security: The security of these computers is very high. As these computers are used in banks so the security is very important. In banks, these computers are used for managing online transactions, processing of credit and debit cards.

Long-lasting performance: These computers have a minimum time limit of 10 years. So they can perform well for 10 years and after that period companies can upgrade the mainframe computer or replace it.

Continuing compatibility: Mainframe computers have their own operating system e.g. IBM have their own operating system that can manage these computers. These computers are highly compatible with the processors and other hardware and software.

Huge memory storage: Due to a high number of processors these computers have huge memory that can store and process large amount data at a time.

Virtualization: These systems have a logical partition which can help mainframe to overcome memory limitation.

Can run multiple OS: In mainframe computer, more than one operating system can be run at a time to boost the performance of the system.

Real-time monitoring and control: If any fault comes in the system then the administrator of the system is notified instantly. Suppose there is hardware failure then that hardware should be replaced to resume the work.

Disadvantages of mainframe computer

High cost: These computers have a very high price and they cannot be used in homes. Mainframes are only used by big organization, banks, large websites and government agencies.

Hardware/software is expensive: Windows and mac are not run on mainframe computers. These computers have custom software and hardware that are expensive for the normal user.

A lot of space required: Mainframe computers need a large space and also the temperature of the place should not be hot.

High technical staff: For maintaining mainframe computer specialized staff is needed. A normal computer user cannot operate and debug the system.

Command drove interface: The terminal connected to the mainframe computer have the text and a command-based interface that is difficult to understand.

Hardware crash: If any hardware crashed then the whole system stops working.

Examples of mainframe computer

  • IBM Z-series
  • System z9
  • System z10 servers
  • HP mainframe

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Junaid Rehman

I am a blogger and freelance web developer by profession. I love to blog and learn new things about programming and IT World.


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