Big businesses are planning to grow their mainframe computer capacity despite the downturn, according to a survey of 1,347 large users worldwide.
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Over 60% of businesses plan to grow their mainframe computing power, up from 56% last year, according to the research by BMC Software.
The trend has been driven by a need for many large businesses to process greater volumes of data, despite pressure to keep IT costs under control.
"Datacentre consolidation has helped mainframes," said Nick Glover, sales vice-president Emea. "We are seeing a massive resurgence of consolidation, with companies moving from 50 datacentres down to four or five, and that includes a focus on the mainframe."
With IT budgets still under pressure, keeping costs down is the number one priority of 60% of large mainframe users.
Some companies have reversed plans to migrate their legacy systems to distributed computing systems, and are actively developing them on the mainframe, said Glover.
Around 60% are using IBM's zIIP engines - specialist processing modules - to reduce the workload on their mainframes.
A similar proportion are using monitoring software to run mainframes more efficiently, and are fine-tuning applications to run with less computing power.
The survey reveals that businesses rate mainframes over distributed computing systems, for their high levels of availability and their ability to process large volumes of data.
Over half the businesses surveyed had revenues in excess of $1bn.