Linked by David Adams on Thu 3rd Mar 2011 20:23 UTC, submitted by Amy Bennett
Hardware, Embedded Systems IDC's newest survey of server vendors shows boxes running every kind of operating system -- except Unix -- sold more during the last three months of 2010. Sales of Linux servers rose 29 percent; Windows rose 16.8 percent, but most surprisingly, sales of mainframes shot up 69 percent " the highest growth rate IDC ever found on mainframes.
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There's really two reasons to be using a mainframe these days, and cpu power certainly isn't one of them. They really are designed for two things these days - massive database loads, and reliability.
There's always a market for reliability like that. It may not be large, but until x86 systems start offering similar facilities the mainframe won't be going away.

I doubt x86 will offer similar reliability, as x86 is too buggy and bloated. To get reliability, you need Mainframes / SPARC / POWER / Itanium. For instance, some SPARC cpus can rollback and replay instructions if something went wrong, just like Mainframes. Such functionality does not help performance, and it cost a fortune to implement.

Reliability (Mainframes) and performance (x86) are contradictory, pick one of them.

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