[caption id="attachment_4752" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Mainframes have evolved way past this.[/caption] A new survey suggests that a significant number of organizations still rely on mainframes to help serve large amounts of data. That runs contrary to the view of mainframe technology as increasingly antiquated and useless in today’s cloud-based world. (It bears mentioning that BMC Software, which sponsored the survey, offers solutions for mainframe owners as part of its broader product portfolio.) Of the 1,264 mainframe users surveyed, some 90 percent still considered the mainframe a “long-term solution,” with half of them viewing it as a platform for long-term growth and new workloads. Availability advantages, security, centralized data-serving environment and transaction through-put ranked as the top reasons for mainframe investment. Some 75 percent of those surveyed also expressed fears about the lack of skilled mainframe staff, and another 55 percent said their organizations needed to better integrate their mainframe within a broader IT infrastructure, supposedly highlighting issues associated with the complexity of hybrid data centers. Overall, reducing the costs of IT, disaster recovery, and application modernization topped the list of top IT priorities. Around 39 percent of respondents reported an unplanned outage involving their mainframe, which underscores the need for recovery capabilities. Increasingly faster mainframes are opening up the possibility of using the same core database to run transaction processing applications alongside analytics suites in a side-by-side configuration, reducing the time needed to actually crunch data. For many larger enterprises with mainframes onboard, however, the balance between those mainframes and distributed computing platforms can be a delicate one, governed by a wide variety of factors. Meanwhile, major IT vendors continue to service organizations’ need for mainframe power. For example, IBM recently announced the zEnterprise EC12 mainframe server with a 5.5 GHz six-core processor, 3TB of memory and 101 cores, claiming that the new system can deliver a 30 percent performance boost to analytic workloads.   Image: Everett Collection/Shutterstock.com