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9 Mainframe Statistics That May Surprise You

How important are mainframes today? One way of answering that question is to take a look at some statistics relating to how mainframes are currently used. Keep reading for data points about the state of the mainframe today that you may find surprising.

1. 71 Percent of Fortune 500 Companies Use Mainframes.

More specifically, they use IBM Z systems. (Source.)

2. Mainframes handle 87 percent of all credit card transactions.

Did you buy something with your Visa or Mastercard today? More likely than not, a mainframe made it possible. (Source.)

3. Mainframes handle 68 percent of the world’s production IT workloads, yet they account for only 6 percent of IT costs.

That’s according to IBM, which obviously has a horse in the mainframe game, and it is unclear exactly how these figures were calculated.

But if we assume that these numbers are anywhere close to accurate — and we should because IBM is a pretty reputable company — they are impressive, especially for what they reveal about the cost-efficiency of mainframes.  (Source.)

4. IBM’s z13 system can support up to 10 terabytes of memory.

That’s 10,000 gigabytes, for those of you keeping track at home. I’d have to clone my personal computer 625 times to match that much RAM. (Source.)

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5. A z13 mainframe can survive an earthquake having a magnitude of at least 8.0 on the Richter scale.

How do we know? Because someone ran a test, complete with a video to prove the results. (Source.)

6. Mainframes handle 30 billion business transactions each day.

That’s a lot of credit card payments, stock trades, and other business-critical transactions. (Source.)

7. Revenue from z System sales increased 64 percent in 2017, compared to the previous year.

Yes, IBM continues to make a lot of money from mainframe sales. (Source.)

8. As of 2017, 92 of the world’s top 100 banks continued to use mainframes.

Sure, the cloud is great and x86 servers are cheap. But when you’re a bank with millions of transactions to process each day, and ultra-tight security needs, nothing beats the mainframe. (Source.)

9. The median mainframe programmer salary is about $73,000, according to PayScale.

That’s about $13,000 higher than the median salary for computer programmers in general, according to the same site. (Source and source.)

Download our eBook, Data Encryption in the Mainframe World, for even more on mainframes!

2 comments
  • Mitch — July 1, 2018 at 8:13 pm

    ….not surprising. I’ve been in mainframes since 1960.

  • Donald Greb — July 3, 2018 at 3:32 pm

    Great statistics to see. I in main frames from 1966 through 2003. The talk of the mainframe dying always puzzled me.

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