Post by David Crayford
It's a risky business migrating large systems and many have failed. I
know of one bank that spent $350M trying and they failed
miserably. There are just so many complexities and it's just too hard
I heard an amusing analogy that it's like trying to replace an engine
on a jumbo jet mid-flight. And the quality of service and RAS on
mainframes is still unmatched. HP are marketing converged
systems and claiming 99.999 availability which for many enterprise is
more then enough.
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2017d.html#97 IBM revenue has fallen for 20 quarters -- but it used to run its business very differently
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2017e.html#94 Migration off Mainframe to other platform
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2017f.html#9 The Mainframe vs. the Server Farm: A Comparison
the initial wave was in the late 80s & early 90s, sort of the
low-hanging fruit ... and as a result the company goes into the red.
The company was being reorganized into the 13 "baby blues" in
preparation for breaking up the company. The board then brings in a new
CEO to reverse the breakup and resurrect the company.
In the mid-80s, the top IBM executives were predicting the world-wide
revenue would shortly double, mostly based on mainframe revenue and
there was big internal bldg program to double mainframe hardware
manufacturing capacity. There was also huge uptik in "fast track" MBAs
being rotated through mid-level executive positions (apparently getting
ready for doubling the workforce).
Late 80s, senior disk engineer got a talk scheduled at internal, annual
world-wide communication group conference, supposedly on 3174
performance, but opened the talk that the communication group was going
to be responsible for the demise of the disk division. The issue was the
communication group was fighting off client/server and distributed
computing trying to preserve their (emulated) dumb terminal paradigm and
install base. The disk division was seeing data fleeing the mainframe
datacenters to more distributed computing friendly platforms with drop
in disk sales. The disk division had come up with a number of solutions,
but they were constantly being vetoed by the communication group.
One of the major mainframe strongholds was the financial industry. In
the 90s they spent billions of dollars to convert legacy financial
transactions that did settlement in overnight batch window. They were
under increasing pressure from globalization that was cutting the size
of the window and increasing the work that needed to be done. They were
going to convert to straight-through processing using parallelization on
large numbers of "killer micros". However, they were using some industry
parallelization libraries that had 100 times the overhead of batch
cobol. When this was pointed out (including by me), they just ignored
the input. It wasn't until they started deploying large scale pilots
that they could see that the overhead increase totally swamped any
throughput increase they anticipated from large numbers of killer micros
... with things going down in spectacular flames. The industry
retrenches to safety of the running legacy mainframe systems.
The dependency of financial industry on legacy mainframes may have
played a major role in bringing in new CEO to resurrect the company.
The new CEO had been president of AMEX ... and about the same time that
new CEO was resurrecting IBM, AMEX spun off a major part of its
mainframe dataprocessing in the largest IPO up until that time. The
unit would roll over something like $1.5B in mainframe hardware, no
mainframe older than 18months ... by itself accounting for significant
percentage of IBM annual mainframe hardware revenue.
For ten years up through z196, IBM financials for mainframe sales showed
about the equivalent of around 100-150/yr max. configured
mainframes. This was around 5% of revenue ... but the whole mainframe
group (including software) accounted for 25% of revenue and 40% of
profit (mainframe software & services is major cash cow). Since then
hardware sales seems to have dropped to about half that (but the overall
mainframe group still accounts for significant profit).
some recent posts mentioning straight-through processing effort:
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2014.html#3 We need to talk about TED
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2014c.html#22 US Federal Reserve pushes ahead with Faster Payments planning
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2014c.html#90 Why do bank IT systems keep failing ?
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2014e.html#10 Can the mainframe remain relevant in the cloud and mobile era?
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2014f.html#69 Is end of mainframe near ?
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2014f.html#78 Over in the Mainframe Experts Network LinkedIn group
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2014m.html#71 Decimation of the valuation of IBM
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2014m.html#119 Holy Grail for parallel programming language
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2015.html#78 Is there an Inventory of the Inalled Mainframe Systems Worldwide
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2015h.html#2 More "ageing mainframe" (bad) press
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2016.html#25 1976 vs. 2016?
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2016b.html#48 Windows 10 forceful update?
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2016d.html#84 The mainframe is dead. Long live the mainframe!
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2016g.html#23 How to Fix IBM
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2016h.html#72 Why Can't You Buy z Mainframe Services from Amazon Cloud Services?
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2017.html#82 The ICL 2900
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2017c.html#63 The ICL 2900
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2017d.html#39 The Pentagon still uses computer software from 1958 to manage its contracts
virtualization experience starting Jan1968, online at home since Mar1970
For IBM-MAIN subscribe / signoff / archive access instructions,
send email to ***@listserv.ua.edu with the message: INFO IBM-MAIN