Mainframe computers are large computers commonly used to run complex applications involving data processing in huge quantities. The name arose in association with the arrival of smaller computers which were branded as minicomputers, primarily to create a distinction between them all.

Capabilities and usage:

Mainframe computer systems are primarily used as servers which are capable of storing large quantities of data, sustaining a vast amount of processes and input/output devices to provide multiple users with the information they need all at the same time. They’re able to achieve this by accurately allocating their resources. These machines can run non-stop for years with repairs and maintenance done without closing them down.

Most mainframes nowadays have the ability to host a amount of operating systems permitting them to function like multiple computer systems or "virtual machines". In this case, one mainframe can replace any amount of personal computer systems thereby decreasing related costs and giving far larger scalability and uniformity. The scalability is attained by re-allocating the hardware resources among the virtual machines as required, and the uniformity is enhanced because the hardware redundancy can be removed. This can also be done with PCs but it's a little more complex. For example, adding a disk drive to the PC requires it to be powered down in addition to their hardware limitations. A mainframe can deliver the much needed power for which these are known for, along with the adaptability of PC networks.

Mainframe birth

The birth of the mainframe happened during the 1950s with the arrival of your IBM 700/7000 series. From that point there have been a succession of mainframe models from IBM and other companies alike. But like every other fresh innovation, the mainframe has it's share of drawbacks - it's main one is it's high cost.

As the computer technology progressed, companies found that microcomputer based servers could be utilized at a far lesser cost than a mainframe. Because of this, work stations that used to interact with mainframe systems were steadily substituted with personal computers. The demand went on a slow decline and mainframe systems were just confined to institutions requiring enormous data processing capabilities. Industry analysts thought the mainframe was a vanishing market as mainframes were being steadily substituted by less costly but powerful laptop computer systems.

However, in the 1990s big businesses found a brand new life for their mainframes - the World Wide Web came to the rescue. They realized a mainframe could potentially be utilized as a web server which can take on the equivalent of numerous inter-connected personal computer systems. And now the cost is much lower when it comes to power usage and management. The downtrend began to reverse.

Mainframe access is gradually increasing and one more reason for it was the arrival of the Linux operating system coming on to the scene. Linux is one of the few operating systems which can run on mainframes either directly or on a virtual machine. This permitted the mainframes to profit from the work of assorted PC developers.

At the moment The mainframe keeps on growing in terms of it's capacity and the scale of its installations. Perceptions are steadily changing as shown by their inclusion into the world of the internet. The mainframe computer has proven its capability to deliver an increasing array of information technology services at a reasonable cost.

This article does not cover everything involved, but hopefully, I’ve given you an insight in to what is involved. You can find an abundance of ebooks and such stuff on the internet. I always go to a company called Data Recovery London or Serviceteam. They do not just repair computers, they also provide IT support too and they will always be helpfull if you get baffled on anything.

Author's Bio: 

I have been heavily involved in the property business for over twenty years. My work ranges from gardening, electrics and diy. Gasically I can turn my hand to pretty much anything.