Who'll mind the mainframes?
Few students are learning to run decidedly unsexy, but vital, systems
Big companies still love mainframes. Unlike desktop PCs, these machines are designed to deliver near-perfect reliability. They can be repaired or upgraded while still running, and their software is vastly more stable and reliable than that found on desktop machines. In addition, mainframes use massive data channels that let them process immense amounts of information. This makes them perfect for banks, airlines, or any organization that must track millions of transactions.
Another strength of mainframes is ''virtualization," the ability of one large machine to act like hundreds of small computers. ''You can run multiple workloads and multiple applications together on the same box, sharing resources," said IBM mainframe marketing director Mike Bliss. For instance, mainframes can run the popular Linux operating system as well as any desktop machine.
I would add that space and power requirements involved in maintaining a server farm is another reason mainframes are not going to die. If you ever wanted to drive a muscle car from the 60's, this one uses very little fuel.
The article also states: "But with few colleges offering mainframe courses, most young people aren't prepared for the complexity of mainframes. ''Very rarely do you see a new hire that's directly out of college," he said."
True, I haven't seen a college course for mainframes, but the complexity is overstated. It would take very little for a young student with a background in computer science to get up to speed.
posted by Cyndy