Ten Thousand Mainframes Today: A Million Tomorrow


There is a milestone on the horizon. One day – maybe in the 2020’s, Reg Harbeck, SHARE Enterprise-Wide Program Officer, suggests – IBM will manufacture their millionth System/360-descended mainframe. As Harbeck notes in an article for IBM Destination z, there will come a tipping point when “a critical mass of people stop unconsciously inserting ‘except for the mainframe’ any time  they ask, ‘What other computing platform can give me what my current one isn’t living up to?’” 

Current industry stats estimate there are about 10,000 IBM mainframes actively powering the world economy. It’s only a matter of time until the world rediscovers the power, reliability and security of the mainframe, Harbeck says. How will the industry prepare to go from 10,000 mainframes today to what could be one million tomorrow? What steps will need to be taken? These are thoughts and questions he begins to explore in his article for IBM Destination z, which you can read in full here

The conversation will continue at SHARE St. Louis, during Harbeck’s zNextGen keynote presentation, “Ten Thousand Mainframes Today: A Million Tomorrow.” During his session, which takes place Monday, August 13, at 3:15 p.m. CT, (Session #22779), Harbeck will discuss the implications of this tipping point, as well as strategic ideas for how mainframers can be at the forefront of this shift. 

Be sure to join us at SHARE St. Louis, August 12-17, for even more discussions on the future of the mainframe and the next generation of professionals to take the lead.


Further Reading

Hear more from Reg Harbeck in these articles from IBM Destination z:

  • First Encounters of the Z Kind: Harbeck shares his wife Kristen’s journey as she takes the first steps into learning how to master the mainframe.
  • No Stumps, No Chumps: Harbeck shares his thoughts on how mainframers can and should move past certain cultural “games” that were once the norm in the mainframe ecosystem.  

Reg Harbeck has been working in IT and mainframes for more than 25 years, and is very involved in the mainframe culture and ecosystem, particularly with the SHARE Board and zNextGen and Security projects.

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