Date: Tue, 25 Oct 2005 05:11:49 -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??
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"
> firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
> > I want to know if mainframe is an operating system or database server?
> > I want to make it clear.
> > Please advise. thanks!!
> A mainframe is a physically big computer. I can't think of any that are
> still around unless they are IBM mainframes. It is neither a
> specialized server and is definitely not an operating system.
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.
As for the operating systems that run on these machines, it is possible
that these operating systems can also run on smaller machines. But a
mainframe requires a lot of space.