The IT industry has constantly evolved along with the ever changing technology. After having harnessed the potential of the internet, it is the cloud architecture that is currently being discussed in the IT business race by with it’s new standards. Initially apprehensive about accepting the new bandwagon, the industry at large has now begun to warm up to the concept of cloud to better their business. Mainframe and cloud industry are exploring the possibilities of broadening the organisation’s live mainframe systems to incorporate cloud computing for the benefit of an improved business perspective and also to cope with the shortcomings of the other. The industry specialists however, think differently about the cloud-mainframe union.
The most visible cloud-mainframe coalition debate points are:
1. The resemblance between the mainframe and cloud computing, this coalition will be beneficial for the IT industry.
2. Cloud is a mere marketing hype. It is replicating what the mainframes have done all along.
3. Cloud and mainframe are two separate entities that has nothing in common in order to work with each other.
Whatever be the argument, cloud and mainframe computing despite all its glory has it’s own share of strong points and shortcomings. To be able to merge the two in order to produce a boon to the IT world is the challenge. To be able to form an opinion a compare and contrast of mainframe and cloud is necessary.
Business benefits/features of mainframe:
Having floored the IT business world with it’s strong features of reliability, serviceability and availability, mainframes have surpassed their predicted fate of extinction by leaps and bounds.
• Large-scale computation
• Reliability, Serviceability and Availability
• Efficient work load optimisation
• Utmost resource utilization
• Unequalled level of security
• Entirely virtualized environment
• Relatively lower price in comparison to distributed hardware
Business benefits/features of cloud computing:
Stalwarts of the IT Industry underscore cloud computing as the next advancement of systems architecture.
• On demand and scalable computing environment
• Applications, platforms and infrastructure offered as services
• Cost effective as the it follows the “pay per use” concept
• Exceptionally flexible computing and storage
• Virtualized assets provided as facilities for clients
• Location and device independence can be accessed from anywhere using a web browser
Mainframe and cloud shortcomings:
• Mainframe computing falls short mainly with it’s the complexity in managing the systems, increased cost of maintenance and scarcity of resources.
• Cloud computing’s potential hurdles are in it’s security of information and user privacy.
Whilst having discussed the business profits and losses of mainframes and cloud computing, a detailed understanding of the mainframe-cloud alliance in workload management capabilities and virtualization capabilities is required. We discuss the same in “Extending Mainframes into the World of Cloud: The Business Angle – Part II”