What is Mainframe Computer its application function and types

The word ‘MainFrame’ Computer portrays an image of a massive chamber filled with electronic components that houses a computer, referring to the original CPU cabinet of a mid-1960s computer. 

Today, Mainframe refers to a class of ultra-reliable large and medium-scale servers designed for carrier-class and enterprise-class systems operations. 

Due to the support for symmetric multiprocessing (SMP) and the presence of dozens of central processors in a single system, mainframes are expensive. Mainframe computers are extremely scalable. They connect to terabyte-sized data subsystems via the addition of clusters, high-speed caches, and memory volumes.

At their heart, mainframes are  equipped with massive quantities of memory and processors capable of processing billions of basic computations and transactions in real time. Commercial databases, transaction servers, and applications requiring high levels of resilience, security, and agility rely on the mainframe.

A mainframe is a big, costly computer that may serve hundreds or thousands of concurrent users. Mainframes are just below supercomputers in the hierarchy that starts with basic microprocessors and progresses up to supercomputers.

Mainframe Computer

The line between tiny mainframes and minicomputers is blurred, depending on the manufacturer’s marketing strategy.

List of Mainframe Computer (IBM)

  • Harvard Mark I (first mainframe computer)
  • IBM z15 
  • IBM z Systems
  • BM System z9 mainframe
  • Mainframe. IBM Z.
  • Power Systems.
  • IBM storage. Flash System. DS8000. Tape storage.
  • IBM Q System One.

Application of Mainframe Computer

  • E-Business And E-Commerce
  • Satellite Controlled Technology
  • Health Care
  • Instantly Processing Information
  • Banking

Main Frame Computer Evolution

In the 1960s, most mainframes lacked an interactive user interface. They only took sets of punch cards, paper tape, and/or magnetic tape, and they only functioned in batch mode to handle back office operations such as customer billing and other administrative tasks.

By the early 1970s, several mainframes had been upgraded to include interactive user interfaces and were being used as timesharing computers, able to accommodate hundreds or thousands of users at the same time while also doing batch processing.

Individuals were granted access using specialist terminals, and later through the use of personal computers outfitted with terminal emulation software.

By the 1980s, many mainframes featured graphical terminals (as well as terminal emulation). Mainframes are increasingly replacing traditional terminal access for end users with Web-based graphical user interface (GUI) interfaces, which are becoming increasingly popular.

Features of Mainframe Computers

  • Process Huge amount of data
  • More reliable
  • Number of users can their program in concurrent manner
  • Provide the facility of multiprogram
  • Having portability issues
  • Supports the highest possible I/O connectivity
  • Have the capacity to provide the highest possible I/O bandwidth
  • Compute systems with the highest capacity to produce fault tolerant computing
  • Capacity to handle a large number of users

Cons of mainframe computer

  • Due to large in sized most of the time they are fixed
  • Much expensive
  • Required expert personnel for their maintenance

Company Uses mainframe

  • Banks for record maintenance
  • Govt agencies for conscious, forecasting purpose
  • IT services provider

Core Values

  • Reliability
  • Security
  • Privacy
  • Durability

Operating System Used by Mainframe Computer

The mainframe operating system is a network software architecture that enables mainframe computers to run programs, connect to other machines, and perform complicated numerical and data tasks.

It is also known as the mainframe network software infrastructure. All computers make use of some form of basic operating system (OS), which allows them to organize data and run command-line program.

List of mainframe Operating system.

  1. Mainframe operating system: Linux for System z
  2. z/OS
  3. The z/Transaction Processing Facility (z/TPF)
  4. z/VM
    z/Virtual Storage Extended (z/VSE)


Mainframe computers have been anticipated to become obsolete as technology develops for quite some time. However, even in today’s technologically advanced world, the sheer processing and storage power of the computers is sufficient for corporations (such as IBM) to make use of them.

It is possible to store and process vast quantities of data on a mainframe computer, and the capability of the computer increases exponentially as more are added. Many businesses rely on technology to function, and it acts as a critical infrastructure that will only become more and more valuable as time goes on.

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