Every business requires a high-end computing solution to streamline processes, improve efficiency, enhance customer service and ultimately maximize the profits. From decades, many large organizations have relied on mainframes to achieve these. But the evolution of latest computing solutions like cloud computing has led to confusion among people (mostly, who never experienced the power of mainframe computers) as whether to go for mainframe computing or cloud computing.
To a typical mainframe professional, cloud computing is just an imitation of mainframe architecture in a distributed environment. Virtualization, the main concept in cloud computing, has been a part of mainframe computing since four decades. Except for the cost advantage, there is no significant benefit of cloud computing compared to mainframe computing. Further, its dependence on Internet and data storage on third-party servers makes it less reliable and less secure. In this context, let us see how mainframe computing is more advantageous compared to cloud computing.
High-end performance – From decades, mainframes have been the high performance machines for many companies. Some of the compelling advantages like mainframe’s ability to host multiple operating systems, ability to virtualize hundreds of software applications and their capability to handle billions of transactions, enable users to establish a high performance IT environment.
Highly secure – For large corporations and government organizations securing data is very important. They certainly need a secured computing platform to run their businesses successfully. One compelling advantage offered by mainframe computers is that companies can have full control over their data.
When it comes to cloud computing, the data is stored on third party servers, so the data will be at higher risk.
Reliability – After security it is the reliability factor that makes the mainframes stand-out. Besides securing critical data, large organizations should also consider having 99% uptime –there should be no room for server downtime. Mainframes, manufactured by popular brands like IBM are quite popular for their 99% uptime and thus are highly reliable.
Cloud computing, on the other hand is considered less reliable compared to mainframe computing as it relies on the Internet. If the connection goes down or if the host server goes down, there will be server downtime, which disables the clients from accessing the data.
Customization – In mainframe computing, as the computer hardware is under complete control of the user, it enables easy customization and specialization. Whereas in cloud, it is not that easy as hardware will be controlled by a third party service provider.
Mainframe computing is beneficial for large companies, where high performing, secure and reliable computing systems are compulsory for everyday operations. Start-ups and small businesses, who cannot afford high IT infrastructure, can choose cloud as it costs less than mainframes and allows them to save on maintenance costs.