Date: Tue, 25 Oct 2005 07:27:01 -0700
Reply-To: RolandRB <rolandberry@HOTMAIL.COM>
Sender: "SAS(r) Discussion" <SAS-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
From: RolandRB <rolandberry@HOTMAIL.COM>
Subject: Re: Is mainframe an operating system or database server??
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> On 25 Oct 2005 05:11:49 -0700, "RolandRB" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> >I'll give more information as there seems to be some confusion on this
> >issue. I worked with mainframe computers for many years. "Mainframe"
> >really means the "main frame" (as opposed to other frames that contain
> >disks and other frames that contain channels and frames that contain
> >God knows what) and is the frame that contains the main processor
> >board. These processors boards can contain many processors and these
> >processors do real processing. There will be other processors elsewhere
> >outside the "main frame" that handle I/Os and other tasks. You even
> >have processors checking on the temperature of the parts. Some of these
> >processors will make telephone calls if they detect a part has failed
> >or might fail at some time. The "main frame" literally used to be a
> >frame with things in it. It is true that these computers have got
> >smaller, but generally hundreds of users are connected to them from
> >maybe various locations remote to the computer. As such these things
> >usually need a large space and the communication cables going into them
> >can run into the hundreds and weigh tons. The room they are in will
> >need to be cooled as well. I don't know if it is still the case, but
> >when I worked with IBM mainframes, these were water cooled as well. The
> >only mainframe manufacturers I am aware of now are IBM and Amdahl and I
> >think Amdahl are really Fujitsu and Siemens.
> What about Unisys? A computer doesn't have to be IBM compatible to
> be a Mainframe.
> Your definition seems to fit mini-computers (such as a VAX) as well.
> Heck, I've seen a PC that had all of its disk drives external - does
> that make the PC a main frame?
> What's the difference between a mainframe and a mini-computer?
It's got a "main frame" with the processing power in it that is not
used to do other work like I/Os.