IT & Network Infrastructure : Big Iron Mainframes Versus x86 Servers: What You Need to Know
IBM in recent years has seen an upswing in interest in its Series z mainframes, and Big Blue, along with other vendors such as Unisys, CA and BMC Software, is ramping up its investment in mainframe technologies. At the same time, other OEMs, such as Cisco Systems, Hewlett-Packard and Dell, are promoting a vision in which data centers are populated by a host of smaller, highly virtualized servers that are more tightly integrated with storage, networking and management resources. Industry observers, who once saw the mainframe as a dinosaur, now concede that big iron is going to stick around and IBM has worked hard to keep it relevant. However, with advancements in chip technologies from Intel and AMD; greater virtualization capabilities; and new performance and efficiency features from HP, Dell and others, highly networked x86 servers are able to take on increasingly large and complex workloads. Here are five arguments each for distributed and mainframe environments, thanks to IBM and HP. While not a definitive list, each covers a lot of ground.