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Calling all system admins!

Would you ever consider starting to use a IBM midrange / mainframe / power series / HP Integrety server instead of x86/x64 for a "new" project ?

Does anyone even care about these types of platforms anymore ?

What are your thoughts ?

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up vote 8 down vote accepted

Mainframe-type and Power systems are still very relevant. x86/x86_64 environments are typically built to run 'reasonably' reliably with redundancy built into the software layer.

Mainframe/Power systems are built with huge RAS features - properly managed, they are not going down. Another advantage is the massive virtualization partitioning that they can handle - you can have thousands of Linux or AIX instances running in parallel on a single high end Power server.

Yes, they are still being sold and deployed for new projects.

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Yes - depending on what the project is.

Linux on z-Series, for example, could be a strong contender for cloud computing.

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+1 for linux on system z . nobody does virtualization like mainframes – Chad Huneycutt Oct 10 '09 at 5:39
IBM's been in the news on this just very recently, too: antitrust probing: – warren Oct 10 '09 at 8:26
yeah, the old school mainframe stuff IBM has going is a total racket. IFLs are the only way to go. – Chad Huneycutt Oct 10 '09 at 19:29
it's only a racket, though, because nobody else does mainframes (really) anymore - but I don't see that as IBM's fault, personally :) – warren Oct 11 '09 at 2:14

It's impossible to tell which platform is right for a generic "new project".

It totally depends on what the "new project" is.

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The choice of platform is often dependent on the availability of software. There are a number of manufacturing, point-of-sale, statistical analysis and scientific applications available only on midrange/mainframe.

Software and usage requirements should dictate the hardware used.

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