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We have heard a lot of stories about the experienced mainframe workforce shrinking because people are retiring, and we generally think of the retirees as technicians. But what happens when the data center director or CTO retires? A person who did not grow up on the mainframe often gets promoted into that position of authority.

 

Mainframe novices are often intimidated by the mighty mainframe, and executives are no exception. Making the mainframe friendly to executives with no mainframe background is tricky.

 

At first glance, the mainframe appears to be costly in terms of floor space, software, and personnel. Perhaps an experienced mainframe DBA gets a higher salary than a less-experienced distributed systems DBA, but the mainframe DBA is likely to be managing terabytes of data – mission critical data that the day-to-day business depends on.

 

Recently, I heard a director from a large US company lamenting the fact that his executives were anti-mainframe. This attitude exists despite that fact that his environment of 130,000 MIPS which runs most of their business is being maintained and supported by a team of only 60 technicians.

The mainframe may not seem as exciting as a server, but it is definitely faster and more secure. And the sheer amount of transaction processing power is exponentially higher for a mainframe. And the mainframe invented virtualization!

 

Executives may take the mainframe for granted because the mainframe sits there and does its work without a lot of fanfare. As long as everything goes as planned, the executive may not even think about the mainframe until a software bill is due. In the unlikely event of an outage, the executive sees the impact of the mainframe on the bottom line.

 

Share your stories of how you have introduced executives to the mainframe. I’m sure you have some good ones!

 

The postings in this blog are my own and don't necessarily represent BMC's opinion or position.