Mainframe Propeller Head

Mar 2 2009   5:50PM GMT

Can a bad economy be good for mainframes?

Mark Fontecchio Mark Fontecchio Profile: Mark Fontecchio

That’s one of the questions I’ll be asking a bunch of people down at the Share mainframe user group conference in Austin this week. The show is going on this week, and I’ll be arriving tomorrow afternoon.

Kristine Neely, who heads zNextGen, seems to think that the bad economy opens up opportunities for big iron. For those who don’t yet know, zNextGen is a subgroup within Share for young and new mainframers. It has grown by leaps and bounds since germinating at Share in Boston a few years ago, and now zNextGen will host  a bunch of sessions in Austin this year. I’m planning on attending a few of them.

In any event, the argument behind mainframes being good for a bad economy is the argument for mainframes at any time: It’s a platform where you can get the most bang for your buck. This is an argument that all server platforms make, but the mainframe has some distinctions, according to Neely:

From a general mainframe standpoint, I think this economy will push companies to explore mainframes and technology to the nth degree.  Mainframes are considered a safe and reliable machine – a very good thing today.  Companies are very cost aware today and while crunching the numbers, mainframes will make sense.

Shameless plug: Check out our coverage of Share 2009 in Austin. The landing page is bare-bones right now, but we’ll be building it out a lot more once I get down there.

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