Stress on Data Centers Driving Future Mainframe Growth, Says BMC Survey
September 28, 2012
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The mobility movement and other technology trends are putting more stress on the data center than ever before. Consumers and business users demand access to applications from anywhere at any time, which means IT infrastructures must reliably support the rapidly increasing velocity, volume and variety of data. To get the job done, IT is continuing to turn to the mainframe for strategic advantage, according to BMC Software’s Annual Worldwide Survey of Mainframe Users.

IT experts throughout the United States, Europe and Asia-Pacific reported that the mainframe continues to be their platform of choice due to its superior availability, security, centralized data serving and performance capabilities.

But they also cited some challenges associated with mainframe growth, including struggles to reduce IT costs, speed recovery and simplify the increasingly complex mainframe and hybrid data center environment.

Global survey findings include:

- 90 percent of respondents consider mainframe to be a long-term solution, and 50 percent agreed it will attract new workloads. Asia-Pacific respondents reported the strongest outlook, as 57 percent expect to rely on the mainframe for new workloads.

- Keeping IT costs down remains the top priority, as 69 percent of respondents identified this as their major focus area, up from 60 percent from 2011.

- 59 percent expect MIPS capacity to grow as they modernize and add applications to address business needs. This highlights the need for software that minimizes expensive MIPS consumption and exploits the mainframe’s cost-efficient specialty engines.

- Concerns about the shortage of skilled mainframe staff plagues at least 75 percent of respondents, highlighting the need for more automated, self-learning software. While many organizations worry about mainframe staffing shortages because experts in the field are retiring, IT should be aware that better recruitment, training and outsourcing will not solve the problem alone.

- More than 55 percent reported they need to integrate the mainframe into enterprise IT systems comprised of multiple mainframe and distributed platforms. This further highlights the growing complexity of the hybrid data center and the need for simple, cross-platform solutions.

- While availability is a top benefit of the mainframe, 39 percent reported an unplanned outage, calling for advanced, accurate alerts to problems and fast recovery capabilities.

BMC’s seventh Annual Worldwide Mainframe Survey polled 1,264 mainframe users throughout the United States, Europe and Asia-Pacific. Fifty-four percent of the companies surveyed have revenues in excess of $1 billion. The survey pool was comprehensive and definitive and included pre-qualified respondents from across the mainframe industry. Participants provided insight into questions focused on the current and future state of the mainframe. Responses were then analyzed using standard statistical practices.

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