In this Mainframe tutorial, you will learn about features of Mainframe – Processing power, memory capacity, performance, computing, multiple operating system, time sharing, reliability, serviceability, availability, clustering technology and other features available in Mainframe.
Large Number of CPU with Greatest Processing Power:
The mainframe has greatest processing capacity and to support this there is large number of CPU’s with high processing power embedded within the frame.
Huge Memory Capacity:
As explained before the mainframe applications takes its presence in large scale operations and to support this facility the memory capacity embedded within mainframe is very huge, in some cases it could even be about more than 8 Gigabyte.
Increased Performance by Sharing workload:
Mainframes systems have the ability to share the workload among different processors and input and output devices. This makes its processing ability and power to be efficient and increases its performance.
The mainframe system handles centralized computing by which all the operations takes place in the processor section of mainframe and the results are seen in the desktop monitor with the help of a utility or program running on the mainframe background.
Ability to Run in Multiple Operating System:
Mainframes have the ability to run multiple operating systems and by this feature it is possible to function mainframe systems not as a single computer but as a number of virtual machines.
Supports Time Sharing Ability:
By the feature of Time Sharing Ability supported by mainframes it is possible for thousands of users to operate and use the machine simultaneously with efficiency.
Supports Sophisticated Operating system:
Mainframe system supports sophisticated operating systems like UNIX, Linux and VMS and IBM operating systems like Z/OS, Z/VM, and VSE/ESA.
The main important feature of mainframe system was its Reliability which made its usage wide spread among commercial customers. Mainframe systems are Reliable systems which gives high performance, which is essential for reasonable operations against a database.
As we have seen the mainframe system and application takes its presence in critical and complex business applications which requires the system to be available at all times with 100% throughput. This is completely achievable and provided by mainframe system and it’s really impossible to hear any system outage for any reasons in a mainframe system making its availability for applications throughout. The above is achieved by mainframe system by its great design where Memory chips, memory busses, I/O channels and power supplies are provided with a pair more, ensuring the system availability throughout.
It is possible to replace most of the components in the mainframe system with the system operating concurrently. Certain components like CPU if needed to be replaced of course requires the system operation to be shut down in which case this is done during the scheduled outage as per the users convenience.
Tightly Coupled Clustering Technology:
The mainframe system supports Tightly Coupled Clustering Technology which is known as Parallel Sysplex. By this feature it is possible to operate up to 32 systems as a single system image. Even if one system fails, the work will be done automatically on the next live system and there would be no loss of work and performance is thereby increased. Also this makes the maintenance unit also easier as one or more system which need to be maintained for hardware or software can be removed and this does not affect the remaining systems as the remaining systems continues with its processing as usual and after the maintenance the removed system can be again plugged in. This feature gives the ability to achieve the above said features of reliability, availability and serviceability to be achieved to the maximum percentage.
Apart from the above mentioned features Mainframe also offers:
Supports Maximum I/O connectivity
Have capability of providing Maximum I/O bandwidth
Have the greatest ability of producing fault tolerant computing.
Capacity to manage Large Users
From the above features mainframe system proves to be a best resource and application for critical and complex business operations which gives scalability, security, reliability and availability of system throughout and also proves to be cost-effective solution achieved with greater efficiency and performance which is very important for any business operation.
In this situation one might have a feeling of supercomputer to be similar terms to mainframe systems. But there are some distinct differences. Though there are some similarities like both supercomputers and mainframes support and handle parallel processing the way it is handled differs between them.
In mainframes this ability is used to run multiple tasks, thereby speeding up the process and improving the performance more. Also the applications in which supercomputer and mainframes takes its presence differs. The speed of the computer is normally measured as millions of instructions per second represented as MIPS. To state supercomputers takes its presence widely where large complex computations and huge memory are required. In contrast mainframes systems takes its presence where huge memory is required but with simple operations and computations. Also supercomputers are used widely in specialized areas like Simulation whereas mainframes take it presence and application where there are huge volumes of data to be handled.