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John Garing, the CIO and director of strategic planning for the Defense Information Systems Agency, reveals in an interview that the Department of Defense is increasing its mainframe spending by 10% a year.
The Q&A by The Wall Street Journal touches on a host of issues, including how the DoD has cut its data center spending 25% by consolidating facilities and only paying for the processing power it needs. Here’s what Garing had to say about the department’s mainframe use:
First of all, mainframe security is very good. Second, they are very fast and powerful machines. Third, they can do things that it would take racks and racks of servers to do. So while there aren’t very many new applications being written for the mainframe, we’re still finding new ways to use them.
An example is our payrolls, which already ran on a mainframe. We [wrote software to let people access their payroll information] so we just did it for the mainframe. We’re buying new mainframes [when the old ones wear out]. There’s no plan to go wholesale to client server like there was years ago.
The rest of the interview, though unrelated to mainframes, is still interesting.