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The mainframe is back, and it’s getting agile

Byron Connolly | Oct. 10, 2016
Demand for mainframe technology is not going away, Compuware says.

Mainframe versus cloud

O’Malley argues that the stability of mainframes was essential to ensuring that volatile global trading markets didn’t suffer from high data traffic volumes on the day the U.K .voted to leave the European Union.

“People were worried about currency issues and market issues related to Europe – but through the chaos of it all, everything remained liquid and transparent,” O’Malley says.

“It didn’t go from a state of chaos to panic. Even with the surge of transactions that were occurring and everybody hitting refresh on their mobile phone – every time you do that it creates mainframe transactions. The market went into a frenzy in an unexpected way and settled back down; common sense prevailed.”

He claims that “nothing bad happened” because these core trading platforms were running on mainframes; 96 of the 100 largest banks worldwide use mainframes as their core transaction processing engines, he said.

“Nothing failed. If you ran all of that stuff on the cloud and the response times got back and you couldn’t see your holdings and you couldn’t make a trade, that chaos can turn into panic.

“So the mainframe plays an essential role in making sure the worldwide economy runs without a hitch and that’s no different today than it was 10 years ago.”

O’Malley recalls arguing with a “kid” on social media who suggested that “you can do anything in the cloud that you can do on the mainframe.”

“This is certainly not true,” says O’Malley. “They day he made that argument was the day that Brexit was happening.”


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