October 06, 2006 08:19 ET

Analyst: Mainframe Has "20-Year Advantage" Over Competing Platforms

Robert Frances Group Says Mainframe's "Technology Superiority" Makes It a "Central Hub" With Advantages in Power and Cooling

ARMONK, NY -- (MARKET WIRE) -- October 6, 2006 -- Lauding the IBM (NYSE: IBM) System z mainframe's "superiority in partitioning and virtualization," IT analyst Robert Frances Group declared in a recent report [1] that, "IT executives should consider the value of the 20-year advantage that mainframes have over other platforms." The report notes that IBM's continued investment in the mainframe "will ensure technology superiority for the foreseeable future."

The analyst considers "the new wave of server and storage consolidation, partitioning and virtualization as an affirmation of the mainframe model."

The report further states that, "in addition to the power and cooling advantages of the mainframe, IT executives and their staff should consider the mainframe as a 'Tier 1' option for hosting new applications and acting as a central hub for security, server pool management, and consolidated workloads/data."

The report points out that:

    "The mainframe has unique technology and characteristics (i.e., being
       the strongest commercial platform for generalized computing, with   
       multiple internal processors for handling input/output (I/O), etc.)."

    "[IBM database] DB2 is a long-term winner in the database management
       system (DBMS) world ... DB2 workloads running on the mainframe generally
       make sense to keep on the mainframe. The strengths of the backup and
       recovery, functionality, and security warrant keeping the data there, not
       to mention better pricing in comparison to Oracle on HP or Sun

    "In the context of TCO [total cost of ownership], the main advantages
       for the mainframe are the people costs as well as the superior 
       management tools and capabilities to ensure good service. The Wintel   
       platform, however, is the widest known for its low average utilization. 
       Indeed, many customers are paying for boxes that are averaging 15 
       percent utilization or less ... while mainframes run at 85 percent or 
"The IBM System z mainframe offers a superior economic proposition as well as unmatched security and the kind of rock-solid performance required by the world's best-run companies," said Jim Stallings, IBM general manager, System z. "We are continuing to make the kind of investments in the mainframe that will enable IBM to continue to take market share from our competitors."

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[1] Mainframe Role TCO, Robert Frances Group

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