ABENDing Mainframe Myths

Photo of 1960s mainframe and staff

“Yep. Next year’s model comes in almost half the space as this one.”

Great article debunks mainframe myths

So I’m standing up and cheering over Gabe Goldberg’s terrific article over at Destination Z entitled “The Truth Will Set You Free: Injecting some accuracy about mainframes out there”.  Everybody needs to read this — especially all the past and future detractors of our beloved Big Iron.

Getting goofy information or being a victim of FUD (aka Fear Uncertainty and Doubt) about mainframes is a common occurrence.  Hearing nonsense in sales pitches is to be expected — nobody should really expect a vendor to entirely overcome its conflict of interest when handing out IT or systems advice.

But far beyond that, for a lot of reasons, the overall profile of mainframes in IT are kind of low, and understanding of their role is limited.  They’re not front and center in the IT discussion — and with distance has always come distortion.  As Gabe puts it:

“The oldest—astonishingly long-lived—myths claim “the mainframe is dead/dying/doomed.” It’s tempting to answer this by pointing to Stewart Alsop’s 1991 assertion that the last mainframe would be uninstalled within five years, which led to his eating his words. And noting that while other technologies have come and gone, the mainframe simply improves. Since Alsop’s bad bet, we’ve seen more than a few major processor and OS generations, and we’re coming up on the 50th birthday of what’s still a compatible computing architecture.”

He goes on to demolish two dozen or so of the most persistent myths about mainframes.

Seriously, go read this.  It’s great.

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