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Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Big Iron: The Mainframe Story

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human beings have been performing computations for thousands of years

from tally sticks to Stonehenge to the portable and still employable

abacus the history of computing includes punch cards tabulators and desktop calculators

all leading to alan Turing's influence on computer science

with his mind bending algorithms and miraculous program storing machine

in the mid-twentieth century computers went commercial

developed by companies like UNIVAC, Burrows, NCR

Control Data, Honeywell and IBM. This consortium produced large customized and

expensive computer systems

for government agencies and corporations.

A new age in human computational history was about to dawn

in the nineteen sixties the status quo experienced a radical transformation

new ideas were forming as cultural political and social traditions

came under question the same can be said for the world of

business computing generally considered the first modern mainframe

IBM's 360 reinvented business computing and deliver the technological firepower

that allowed NASA's rocket scientist to look into the sky and say

Hey gravity! Let's go for a ride.

the first thing that came to mind when I think

about what

impact the mainframe has had on business

for the last forty-five years or so was in fact the US space program because the mainframes

provided that complete solution

that actually enabled us to put a man on the Moon

in the sixties

perhaps the biggest contribution was in the area of

real-time transaction processing because that's where really led the way

to for example credit card authorization systems

airline reservation systems things we kind of take for granted today

you could just walk up to somebody and they are going to immediately answer question or

or transact business with you. All of that is driven by this real-time

transaction processing which is playing here on the mainframe

When you look back in the sixties we're really experiencing a lot

of technological problems that looking back it's hard to

visualize now. Most computers were custom-built

One of the great examples is SABER which was a custom-built

IBM mainframe designed just for american airlines to run a reservation system

there was an awful lot of this so you'd have slight variations of the machines

IBM made the decision to have a compatible family of systems that can be

used for any

business purpose. So to that goal IBM start developing in 1960's System/360 line

as a we would now call a heterogeneous line computers

so you would dramatically reduce the cost of developing the systems

when I started working with computers, a lot of work was done

through batch

at the time it was a great jump forward because it

automated something that had previously been done by hand

but businesses realize that they need to be more responsive than this, they wanted to go

online. They wanted to be able to do things

in real time so within IBM we created TSO

for interactive users we created IMS

and CICS for transaction users

these environments particularly the CICS

are still very heavily used because they provide

back up, the security are they provide mechanisms for doing all the attributes

that business applications need

and all the customer has to worry about is writing

the business logic part of it.

the mainfram itself was the outgrowth of a cultural of responsible computing and that came together with an

architecture that was built around the needs a business but also

a cultural scrupulousness of care

of doing things that we're looking to the future hence the promise that IBM made

when they put off the

the announcement for the mainframe on April 1764 that whatever you wrote

for their mainframe then we continue to run into the future

that's a promise it's been kept

the ability to run you know the terrible word legacy workloads

right so it's not like you know in Windows when you upgrade from windows 6 to

Windows 7 or Windows whatever. whatever is gonna come next

if your application stopped working you have to go by the next one worth

to your application you have to figure out what to recode

that COBOL program that you wrote thirty years ago

continues to run exactly the same way as it did our customers do like test

everything every year some extent their surprise that

the stuff continues to run because of the sort of the rules of engagement that

IBM in the ISVs put around the mainframe which was

to make sure that it was the ultimate investment protection platform

in all the years that I've been involved in a mainframe I'm not sorry I chose that path

I'm not sorry now you know where we used to have a data center that was

five million square feet okay now to the data centers got maybe five hundred

square feet but it doesn't matter.

The power is five hundred times what it was it's considerably easier to manage

I mean just look at the cable. In the old dayswe had bus and table

cabling that would like a fire hose

and now you gotta a piece of wire that looks like a telephone

jack in wall. Makes life a lot easier

if you talk to people who've been working on this platform for longer than

I've been alive

they'll tell you that it's their platform.

That IBM is just a custodian of a platform, CA is a custodian of a platform

that you know they're the ones who in the sixties were picking little cords up

off the floor and making sure that the ID and CE did the right stuff

that's really why it is where it is.It is the community and the fact that there's

a great deal of feeling responsibility on all parts for the customers feel a

great deal of responsibly the platform, IBM

clearly kills a great deal of responsibility as the ISP's

the remarkable change that to find the nineteen sixties was

echoed in the world business computing and what helped lay the foundation for

the aggressive business expansion

poised to on for all in the coming decade the computational

engine that would help drive a significant amount of that growth

you guessed it the mainframe

the nineteen seventies were study in contradiction

oil embargoes global conflict raged well agrarian programs on the rise of new

industrial techniques

flourished women were entering the work force in politics

in increasing numbers while the trust in corporations and principally governments

was in decline computer technology from video games to complex computer networks

was becoming increasingly commonplace in the world a business computing

new technologies such as virtualization weird a viewing

on the mainframe delivering what appeared to be a contradictory promise

greater utilization manageability and performance

at a lower cost 17th just

school during 17

IBM came out where almost

processor every year starting in 1970 with the system 370

and virtual storage on live doubtless

that was pretty exciting back to simply put

virtualization is about sharing resources virtualization is the creation

of a virtual version

operating system a server a storage device

more network resources sharing resources allows organizations to achieve greater


manageability and performance from their technology

investments rofl

problem I am have a buzzword that just the PC market

last five ten years so I think many things

credit it is a common thing for mainframes to see

been there done that when they see some Brandon technology come out are the

easiest one to refer to obviously as virtualization

I was the operator about CP 67 system 360 CP 67 machine

which already could Ron software

which was the predecessor IBM allowed

one machine to act like it was more than one and that was

a former virtualization the mainframe is not restricted to

a single particular software architecture you don't necessarily need

to buy another computer

because you want to run a different operating system but it's a matter of


potentially operating your software are expanding memory or or or some other


but not necessarily the capital expense involved in

and the purchasing a machine I take a look at all other

the big trends that are going on right now in the distributed side

and they've all essentially commodity mainframe think about virtualization

the distributed side being virtualize that whether it's five for 20 percent

depending upon the study

you see purses the main frame it eighty to ninety percent






well ok

with the reduction at UBC in late be able to label discrete things

and the inflectional technology to read those and pass that along into

central processing a system it became possible to automate lots more things to


you know very close watch on inventories into reduce costs by

managing inventory levels managing supply chains well as time has gone on

obviously the other platforms have adopted the good ideas that the


develop decades ago but there are call is a service to the main frame provides

in terms of P billion to do

detailed management on the system the other platforms seems like that

philosophy is things are cheap so just

time-warner that approach has led to much greater expense

then it would have been to implement on the so-called expensive mainframes

I'm so my parentals the service is over

Hubbard does master with a little help from IBM mainframe

business productivity once again prevail

as computer technology became increasingly pervasive in both the

commercial and private sectors

organizations utilize mainframe technology to grow their businesses

on a global scale virtualization technology allowed companies to easily

share and grow their applications and resources

across increasingly large networks in the coming years a revolution in

computer technology

most notably personal computers would help make server technology increasingly

more affordable

spawning what is often referred to as the dawn of distributed computing

among other notables the nineteen eighties

in the nineteen nineties gave us the first woman appointed to the US Supreme


the loss of the Challenger Space Shuttle hong kong's return to china

and of course the collapse of the Soviet Union in the corresponding fragmentation

what had been a closed and highly centralized society with the advent of

the personal computer

dramatic changes were also occurring in the high-tech industry

the Windows operating system along with UNIX began to be adopted as an

alternative server solution

to the mainframe in fact some were saying the mainframes days were numbered


both yeah I K their last respects more beloved mainframe

me famous been pronounced dead more times in

able to go to I'll it was a tough time

a trying to convince people number one that you should continue to invest in a


mainframes word flexible people would come in and say

I need an application change I need a new application

and we had backlogs we said well maybe we'll get

maybe we'll get to your requirement but it's going to be in another two years

people one of a kind I said well that's not good enough I need to do something

and they need to do it now

the pushin eighties was to move to distributed systems

there was a belief that these computers will be able to take over for me

prime and to the name shop because the crass the endless

users jumped on the street computing idea the future the mainframe

looked of damn you had a a lot of companies don't exist anymore

those who were sorta anti mainframe and Amber

I think they went a little over the top and trying to suggest that

they were going to fix all the problems of mainframe computing

nine years were very perilous for the name frank analyst

and technology Pendle I'll

thought that the main thing was going to die they

pop called server with the way to go get the flexibility that people needed to


system within very quickly so the main point something quite a bit

at the higher levels there was a guy in 1991 when the

hotshot IT analyst he said lets me play would be unplugged on March 15th

1996 that's almost 15 years ago and today

that the have the top 50 banks use IBM even computers

24 the top twenty seven retailers

use idea revealed why they do that is because

me for him is the most reliable the most available will secure platform

a computing system is secure if you can rely on it to behave in the manner you


now that is the beauty of the mainframe there's an old saying

housework is something that nobody notices unless you don't do it you know

it's kinda funny the mean Green's kinda like that

that people don't notice the mainframe because of the fact that it's just

sitting there working behind-the-scenes the business

requirements keep getting stronger and stronger every year for things like the


data integrity being able to report these things the Intel windows or even


Mintel world arm has a lot of strengths

no in the fact that you can buy a lot of things you know you can pretty much by

anything you want from any to any vendor

but the bottom line is that when the ecosystems that broad

making those things work together in a very effective way is harder

many distributed servers will be needed in order to do a single job where

it could be done much more conveniently efficiently and

in a controlled manner if it was done mainframe system because the mainframe

system could do the whole job

pool in one place in our recent survey

seventy-five percent of CIO's are undergoing some level agree


not just the mainframes there the re centralizing on many different platforms

but that's certainly a good sign for mainframes I think something that

that proliferation that occurred at that server sprawl it out there today

is now being fixed up


ok old


house in the eighties and nineties a dark ages at all I see it as a

appear to growth expansion and response to

a challenger that came in the form a distributed computing

eighties are usually remember is the time when NPC showed up

and that God would make you think that the mainframes they did but they didn't

really start fading that hollywood they were

ever expanding very rapidly I DM pushed and areas that do not conform

both to smaller companies in order companies and all potentially touchy for


was a real expansion mainframe with the nineties

perhaps a little bit different story happening mainframes continued to grow

in presence and they were they remained extremely important

but increasingly up

big production workload could be down on other platforms and by the endless


the Internet fact the mainframe initially didn't play very well in that


by the end of the 90s that was a real you know

thought that then mainframes we're gonna go away they were gonna become obsolete

Justin just go away

eventually to which didn't help distributed computing did not signal the

demise of the mainframe

in fact is the 21st century began in the internet and global commerce

exponentially expanded quality such as security

reliability and manageability were becoming increasingly valuable

qualities the position the mainframe for a renaissance

in the decades to cart up

the acceleration of globalization epitomize the first decade of the 21st


allowing individuals to communicate and collaborate using social networks

assuring the contents their pocketbooks to electronic commerce

a more intimate planet could also bring tragedy and none was more deep the 9/11

yes globalization also delivered diversity inside

and opportunities all in real time the always open concept was equally vibrant

in the realm of business computing Linex became the fastest-growing

operating system on the planet in open source option that thrived on big iron

across myriad industries in the first decade of the new millennium

the mainframe was not only back it was helping to once again

dictate the direction up business computing

ok IBM has been very very

responsive to the the market place in the customer demands and have

morphed mainframe into something that is

as modern as full function as every other technology and even

even actually more so we do our best to try to adapt any innovation from

anywhere in the industry

on to take advantage of it and be able to deliver to our mainframe customers

thing about the mainframe is pretty exciting the days you consider the

its existing for 45 years now yet it still continues through

change every day to meet the business needs

things that used to be significantly different between the mainframe and

these other platforms

and sort of faded insignificance and the same kinda development languages the

same kinds is

databases same kansan interoperability with her

networked world wide world internetworld all

are fully supported fully you no doubt on the mainframes



ok well


ok IBM invested heavily

in 1x and people were scratching their heads wondering about maybe this was

just because they had

miss the boat when they let Microsoft take away the

word of operating system by a the fact is that there when it's about as much

pain of Spades now

was around 2001 and we had just begun this journey towards Linux running on me

it was a great idea that some summer my team in Germany had come up with the

Portland x2 the mainframe

we were just beginning to see the possibilities aboard what this

this additional operating system could give us in the world

people look at limits as a way of saving money it's not really the case

there's an expression that Freese offers only for your time is worth nothing

when people look at Linux is free software what you're really getting is

the portability

in much the same way that Java gave you an application by reporter Billy

lyrics have the same operating system as we see lexus lexus lexus

on x86 power mainframes

you could pick the best hardware platform me your workload

today we look at i'd say maybe 15-20 percent over mainframe customers are

running Linux production workloads

I'll give credit where credit is due here and that Google

Google runs a linux-based environment and dad has gotten customers looking

okay huge corporation is based on their business or in

your CPU and I should use it and we're really seeing that mindset change


it's often asked wire mainframes different we can deliver

vertical scale know what I mean by that most other platforms in the world if you

run out of capability you add

a box you add another box yet another operating system yet another image

and you scale horizontally and that's pretty good

we can do that too but what we can also do is vertical scale build

and that means that you could have a a workload run that for some reason is not

meeting its goals you not meeting your

service level agreements we can literally scale up

that application while it's running that would be the equivalent of ending

horsepower to a car while you're driving on the highway this is the only system

in the world

but you can add resources to our running workload while it's in the middle

running and actually make a difference and improve that response time be able

to keep up with on me and

level that people are just because into the fall

i think is really israel maintains we are most recently

used IBM's capacity on demand for souley almost instantaneously

I'm you can upgrade your machine for MIPS turn on turn want whenever you want

are and we've used to during somewhat peak periods

during a month you don't need to upgrade your machine physically

don't need to have anybody touch the box open up our down go through the process

the code is downloaded machine was up and running and when you don't want to

anymore you just

on do it manana goes away the mainframe is a is a platform of choice for many

many kinds of applications

did still today the most secure the most

scaleable able to

sustain the highest kinda transaction volumes and data volumes

at the lowest cost per transaction that is a competitive edge

in the fact that that when you're dealing with massive massive amounts of

data and massive numbers transactions

you need platform that will support that mean trainers

has shown itself to be the premier platform there and I think that will


as long as investment continues as long as customers

continue to demand more you know the mainframe community will continue to

deliver more

with the first decade of the new century coming to a close

the future of the mainframe was wide open was sixteen hundred applications

introduced on the platform between 2007 and 2010

and the alluring attributes that had initially drawn

organizations to centralize computing we're back involved

the 21st century mainframe was retooled and reinvigorated

for 2010 up

in the next decade the benefits global connectivity

will blossom this basketball becomes a barber shop

where becomes everywhere the corner store

your wish list your bank in your pocket

and then with the push of a button transferred across the global grid

and suddenly you're asking yourself is this a good thing

what about security privacy reliability

backup and recovery it's no coincidence that those challenges are the reason

many of the world's largest organizations

choose to secure and transact their data and IBM mainframe

get ready and say hello to tomorrow

we have a whole new a cohort of people coming from universities coming onto the


arm and that's a great thing because they're going to make should mean can

keep trying

but we have to recognize that this also means a change to me

we are using spittin who solutions that were put in place twenty thirty years


the person who wrote them often as even long gone and

we don't need to upgradeable solutions we need to simply

go beyond them in use the functionality that's available on today's mainframe

these management softer takes care that but if we don't do that before new

generations fully in place

they can be afraid to make those changes themselves cuz they're not gonna why


lotsa people retire eligible what we gonna do what our customers going to do

what I DM

we had started a program back in 2003 when this was also a question that come


call the academic initiative and it started with 70 schools

largely in the US when I came into this job in July 2009 I asked for an update

on the academic initiative

and I was thrilled to learn it was over 600 schools now

around the world it's been a win win win win for IBM

for the student for the university and for the companies that have been able to

hire these

student Christine Harper and I'm actually Mac at an event that IBM had


there was a networking event where they thought as party IBM academic initiative

that that it would be a really nice idea

to get anyone who is currently at that share me think of it from Boston

to get together question and I had that vision a person

right from the beginning I'll no there something here that there is enough %uh

who want to get together and contemporary and can help each other

but technical question can build a professional work a lot of my generation

doesn't know anything else besides making me

and and they don't know about me think naughty but

I think they're both doing the opinion explore

ninety career-low outside pp platform

I think they would embrace it I decide to go with me in praying for

professional career

because I saw the area of opportunity for myself

you know I've you know just coming into the field is coming out of college

everybody else

was going into the telecom are going into the server side of the world

I saw the opportunity for a media career growth to take reins at my own career

and progress as quickly as I you know as quickly as I could drive myself


until there's out you know magical processor that allows you to run any

particular kind of our

instruction set anywhere you want I'll I think that there's always going to be

room for mobile hotspot

our customers have put that out but there isn't any customer who just wants

a mainframe

or just want one kinda distributed system Iran

the workload based on where the applications on the best all of our

clients are running that way they're running in these heterogeneous


but some grace that diversity let's embrace that heterogeneity

and actually extend some other the qualities a service that we had a

mainframe computing

to those other platforms but cost pressure that's in place right now

as finance organizations really begin to get a handle on the

the true costs have distributed computing and they compare that to the

all in costs for

mainframe computing I think the economics are going to be there

I think the workforce is going to be there and I think the simplicity is

going to be there

workloads to migrate back to the main for customers today that I work with

more and more than we're using the main freeways that central data processing


for new workloads not just for the traditional so we're seeing WebSphere

we're seeing our

Jaber workloads we're seeing where the big things for IBM right now is Cognos

that's exciting for me because we're bringing new people the platform seeing

the benefit

that if anything is going to help the mean for stay relevant

for a great many years to come at this point I don't see an alternative I don't


and am ball I don't see a Magnus and I don't see

its a trilogy coming either would work to create a new mainframe

I think that trainers already left the station and and and really gone

saw it I think advancements will be in the software

on purse offer is going to be as big if not bigger part and what can and can't

be done

every time there's been a big try to the technological crack has been really

driven by some sort of economic me

the current need to move to cloud is one up

CIO's morning to really understand what they're paying or be paying as you girl

but that seems to be the big things behind driving clout

ok so so it's much more for utility mal rights upon using

nope I need to drive my car 300 miles and it takes 10 gallons I pay per 10

gallons a gas

I don't have to buy and on the gasoline station to keep my

computer center right what most people want when they talk about cloud

computing is the concept of multi-tenancy

you may be co hosting competitive workloads

I may be running workload from one I retailer that's on the same

server is another retailer they do not want their data biko mingle when you got

a guarantee

application isolation when you got to guarantee workload balancing that one

can dominate the other one

when you got to guarantee security what kinda things do you think of when you

think a mainframe computing what goes with that very attributes

we embrace that we've been doing for years I don't get excited about many

new buzzwords but

I experience cloud computing attic

company level it works it's necessary

and as companies become more global cloud computing

yeah where each five or six years we see

Canada major revolution a major new thing that

it shows up in in this world and so far you know over over every cycle so far

mainframe community technology community has has been able to

to support that in some cases lead to look into the future I suspect we'll see

the mainframe continue to be a very bright vibrant part

was required for it. today people looking at reliability

scale abilities important issues but add to that and the complexity a reply


regulations mainframe is the only platform businesses can we look at the


its gonna get bigger can get more exciting and it's going to become

large part to be a who IT ecosystem

ok the mainframe platform offers almost unlimited opportunity for young people

interested in the world business computing businesses recognize how the


and attributes of the mainframe closely aligned with their strategic direction

but IBM's continuing and significant investment in the venerable system

it's clear why so many customers business partners

industry experts are bullish on the future of the mainframe

for this computing platform the future is extraordinarily

bright ok



on the hook











old well



hold thing

The Description of Big Iron: The Mainframe Story