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Windows OS Coming To the Mainframe

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the your-airplane-fell-into-my-peanut-butter dept.

IBM 148

msmoriarty writes "Following up on its May announcement, IBM has now confirmed that by December 16 it will support Microsoft Windows on zEnterprise via its zBX component."

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Breaking news (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37986174)

The botnet is now coming to the mainframe!

Year of Windows on the Mainframe (3, Funny)

bonch (38532) | more than 2 years ago | (#37986484)

Truly, next year will be the year of Windows on the Mainframe!

Run! Run! Run for your lives! (0)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | more than 2 years ago | (#37986176)

You poor IBM system admins...

Re:Run! Run! Run for your lives! (3, Insightful)

wedontneednobadges (856106) | more than 2 years ago | (#37986846)

Are you kidding? This is the greatest job security coup of all time! World wide IT departments will have to start hiring around the clock. Think of all that buggy, crashing, virus invected software that will constantly require fixing. This will make all that Y2k hype seem like a walk in the park LOL!!!

Look @ Linux lately (security-wise) (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37988054)

Recent security breaches on Linux listed next:

---

KERNEL.ORG COMPROMISED:

http://linux.slashdot.org/story/11/08/31/2321232/Kernelorg-Compromised [slashdot.org]

---

Linux.com pwned in fresh round of cyber break-ins:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/09/12/more_linux_sites_down/ [theregister.co.uk]

---

Mysql.com (runs Linux) Hacked, Made To Serve Malware:

http://it.slashdot.org/story/11/09/26/2218238/mysqlcom-hacked-made-to-serve-malware [slashdot.org]

---

Then, there's ANDROID, and it's showing security-wise, piss poor...

(It DEFINITELY helps show us all that all the FUD on /. for years now that "Linux is secure" is just that, fud!)

ANDROID's being torn up in the hundreds with exploits and yes, ANDROID uses Linux kernel.

* AHEM - Need more?

APK

P.S.=> Well - "Ask & YE SHALL RECEIVE!" then!

CA's Breached recently (past week or two now) that RUN LINUX:

http://uptime.netcraft.com/up/graph?site=StartCom.com [netcraft.com]

http://uptime.netcraft.com/up/graph?site=GlobalSign.com [netcraft.com]

http://uptime.netcraft.com/up/graph?site=Comodo.com [netcraft.com]

http://uptime.netcraft.com/up/graph?site=DigiCert.com [netcraft.com]

Each was compromised, per this article's proof thereof -> http://itproafrica.com/technology/security/cas-hacked/ [itproafrica.com]

AND

Per this article on /. also -> http://it.slashdot.org/story/11/10/28/1954201/four-cas-have-been-compromised-since-june [slashdot.org]

"Read 'em & WEEP" Oswald Cobblepot (penguins)...

... apk

IPL, IPL, IPL, IPL, All the doo dah day! (1)

Paracelcus (151056) | more than 2 years ago | (#37988598)

I wonder how long it takes a modern mainframe to do it's IPL (boot)? I know that your not loading from tape anymore, but still Windows?

Re:IPL, IPL, IPL, IPL, All the doo dah day! (3, Informative)

bws111 (1216812) | more than 2 years ago | (#37988822)

Windows does not run on the mainframe (z/Architecture engine). Windows runs on an Intel blade in a blade center connected to the mainframe with some high-speed links and is managed by the mainframe. The mainframe is still running z/OS, and will have the same performance and reliability characteristics it always had.

Re:Run! Run! Run for your lives! (2)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 2 years ago | (#37988262)

How about that, Microsoft almost catching up with Linux in yet another category. How long has it been ince Lunux ran on mainframes? Quite a while, one of the ten fastest computers in the world runs on Linux (keep working on it, MS). I keep thinking of BSoDs, do you know how damned long it takes to boot a mainframe? Will they have to restart the mainframe on Patch Tuesday every month? Reboot it when its antivirus needs new definitions, or Adobe updates Flash?

Run for your lives, indeed!

Is this something the market forces are demanding? (3, Insightful)

spacepimp (664856) | more than 2 years ago | (#37986212)

What in the Mainframe market sector is this the answer to?

Re:Is this something the market forces are demandi (1)

ELCouz (1338259) | more than 2 years ago | (#37986252)

This looks like a deliberate attempt to gain a small percentage of the general computers market share (yes, servers and mainframes included!)

Re:Is this something the market forces are demandi (0)

Synerg1y (2169962) | more than 2 years ago | (#37986538)

Better yet, who still uses mainframes? (Haven't heard this posted yet so I thought I would)

Seriously though, windows blades are not new, they're just looking to do a little bit of cross compatibility here, it's always better that hardware supports the max # of software... right?

Re:Is this something the market forces are demandi (2)

the linux geek (799780) | more than 2 years ago | (#37986640)

Mainframe market share is huge (about 3 billion a year in hardware sales) and growing rather quickly, especially since "cloud" and "virtualization" became buzzwords. It's the only part of the high-end non-x86 niche that's really having solid growth right now - SPARC and Itanium have been tumbling for a while, and Power has been more or less flat.

Re:Is this something the market forces are demandi (3, Informative)

Oswald McWeany (2428506) | more than 2 years ago | (#37986662)

Only one of the last 6 companies I worked for DIDN'T have a mainframe.

Not only does my current company still have a mainframe- we're doing a major software upgrade on it next year.

The mainframe never died.

Re:Is this something the market forces are demandi (3, Informative)

HWMTM (2500070) | more than 2 years ago | (#37986672)

Some estimates have mainframes processing 80% of the world's data. http://fosspatents.blogspot.com/2010/08/western-civilization-runs-on-mainframe.html [blogspot.com] Now I'm not sure how accurate that percentage is, but if you run an enterprise business and have thousands of servers to maintain, a mainframe still makes a lot of sense.

Re:Is this something the market forces are demandi (1)

mclaincausey (777353) | more than 2 years ago | (#37987364)

Good point. Medicare, Medicaid, and most (all?) private payers use mainframes for claims adjudication and record keeping; so, that's quite significant. Mainframes are huge, you just don't read about them as much.

Re:Is this something the market forces are demandi (1)

morcego (260031) | more than 2 years ago | (#37988068)

Mainframes are huge, you just don't read about them as much

Mainly because we mostly hear about stuff when they break down/don't work.

Mainframes are extremely reliable and, if you really need them, cost effective.

Re:Is this something the market forces are demandi (3, Informative)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 2 years ago | (#37986886)

Lots of companies use mainframes still. For tasks that require high availability and high I/O, mainframes are your best bet. While you can run a web server on a mainframe, it isn't utilizing the advantages. Running your financial systems where you get tens or hundreds of thousands concurrent users making transcactions is where mainframes have no equal. Also remember it isn't always an either/or situation. A company can use a farm of web servers to handle the front end while the backend processing is handled by a mainframe.

Re:Is this something the market forces are demandi (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37987428)

The airlines reservation system and Insurance companies run the databases almost exclusively on mainframe systems.
Pretty much once you get to 10,000 concurrent users, a mainframe is the only way to go.

Re:Is this something the market forces are demandi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37987548)

As another poster said, on top of Medicare/Medicaid; I would add pretty much all US housing/land development related loans, student/higher education related loans, stock/option transactions, and bank ACH transfers. They may not be directly processed on a mainframe, but eventually end up there. Mainframes do 3-4 things, do it well, and have been doing it for decades nonstop. They are so hidden, backended, dependable, and stiched into the fabric of IT that people just have forgotten that they exist.

Re:Is this something the market forces are demandi (1)

znrt (2424692) | more than 2 years ago | (#37988980)

They are so hidden, backended, dependable, and

yeah, nowadays if you aren't on the daily highlights you barely exist. sort of hidden.

so stiched into the fabric of IT that people just have forgotten that they exist.

beautiful. william gibson? :D

Re:Is this something the market forces are demandi (1)

sapgau (413511) | more than 2 years ago | (#37989084)

+1 Agreed

Re:Is this something the market forces are demandi (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 2 years ago | (#37988354)

The same people who have always used mainframes -- governments, big universities, and large corporations. Kind of hard to keep a five million row table and associated related tables on a PC.

And like always, today's mainframe will be on your desktop in 20 years. Who needs THAT kind of power? Uh, you will.

Re:Is this something the market forces are demandi (2)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#37986688)

Mainframes are increasingly seeing competition from clusters of commodity machines running Xen or similar - the cluster is often less good, but at ten percent the cost of the mainframe it doesn't have to be to be tempting to a lot of users. This is an attempt to ensure that anything you can do with cluster of Xen machines, you can do with a mainframe (the converse is not true).

Re:Is this something the market forces are demandi (2)

morcego (260031) | more than 2 years ago | (#37988100)

I really see this as clusters taking over a niche where there was no real competition. People would use either mainframes or some kind of distributed solution for that, but that was mostly because it was the best alternative. "If all you have is a hammer, you should treat everything as a nail" and all that.

Of course vendor will fight back, since it will cost them profits. But I simply can't see clusters taking over the real mainframe market.

Re:Is this something the market forces are demandi (4, Informative)

bws111 (1216812) | more than 2 years ago | (#37986774)

Contrary to the impression left by the misleading title, this is NOT Windows running on a mainframe. It is Windows running on a blade in a blade center attached to and managed by the mainframe. Using a Windows (or Linux, or AIX) box to perform analytics on mainframe data is not new. What is new is the methods for getting the data from the mainframe, and the fact that the whole thing is managed by the mainframe. And in the mainframe sector, management is huge.

Re:Is this something the market forces are demandi (1)

Relayman (1068986) | more than 2 years ago | (#37987564)

That's the way I read it. It's Windows running on either Intel or AMD. We've had it with the Power Systems (iSeries, AS/400) for years. Other than system management (for a time, it was the only Windows server that could reboot itself when it crashed) the big advantage was disk management. Like a virtual environment, you could add disk at will and the disk performance was considerably higher than a regular Windows server. On Power Systems, each Windows disk drive is striped over all the disk drives which could be 40 physical devices.

Re:Is this something the market forces are demandi (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 2 years ago | (#37987312)

Any that runs windows and wants to move towards VDI without having to buy and maintain a bunch of x86 servers and esx ( or similar ).

Re:Is this something the market forces are demandi (2)

pauls2272 (580109) | more than 2 years ago | (#37988126)

The ZBX is designed to replace Racks of X86 servers. The shops that want this either already have a big backend Mainframe - for DB2/ADABAS/IMS with midrange Window/Unix servers or they process everything on the mainframe and FTP down to Windows/Unix boxes (last place I worked FTPed Terrabytes every night down from the mainframe to servers).

The ZBX has a high speed bus connection between the Mainframe (Z196/Z114). This speeds up the network lag for large MQSeries systems, FTPs, etc. Also the ZBX is managed/upgraded by IBM Customer Engineers so the firmware will be IBM supported. They also integrate the ZBX into the Hardware Management Console to have a single point of control. I believe the ZBX can also take advantage of Server Time Protocol so the mainframe can be used as a time source for all the ZBX blade servers.

Shops that currently do not have a mainframe probably won't be interested in the ZBX and the ability to run Windows on it. The ZBX has been out for a year or so but was Linux only until this announcement.

Re:Is this something the market forces are demandi (1)

jbolden (176878) | more than 2 years ago | (#37988780)

What in the Mainframe market sector is this the answer to?

Lack of knowledge among younger programmers about mainframe programming languages. A client server application can simple be ported to mainframe with the mainframe either playing the roles of the clients and virtualizing or just the server. It allows people to consolidate and migrate Windows server and server applications off the physical hardware.

Re-boot and call me in the morning (2)

jbohumil (517473) | more than 2 years ago | (#37986216)

Now when work calls me at 3AM because a mainframe job failed I will have to say "Please reboot the mainframe and call me back again if it still fails!" Then I can go back to sleep.

Re:Re-boot and call me in the morning (1)

PinchDuck (199974) | more than 2 years ago | (#37987156)

IPL :)

Re:Re-boot and call me in the morning (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37987702)

Open task manager and kill xyz, if that doesn't work, try CTRL-ALT...

Not quite... (3, Informative)

the linux geek (799780) | more than 2 years ago | (#37986228)

The summary misses something fairly important, which is that Windows isn't running on the z mainframe itself. This allows Windows blades to be inserted into an external chassis (zBX) and managed by a software component called the Unified Resource Manager.

Re:Not quite... (2)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 2 years ago | (#37986428)

It's immensely important. Can you imagine the cost of the CPU cycles at IBM's usual mainframe rates? It amazes me that people still tolerate that kind of billing (and yes, I know that you can pay them a couple of hundred thousand extra to get a CPU that doesn't charge you for certain types of loads ... I just consider that paying for your own lube).

Re:Not quite... (4, Informative)

the linux geek (799780) | more than 2 years ago | (#37986544)

People tolerate it because it works. Mainframes have compelling performance characteristics, especially for virtualization- or I/O-heavy workloads, and most people don't need a full unlocked processor (a CP.) Linux is the fastest-growing OS on z, and a Linux specialty engine (Integrated Facility for Linux) is relatively cheap compared to the other types of specialty engines. zAAP/zIIP/CP only really matters if you're running z/OS, in which case you're probably a large enough company tat you can afford it, or if you're running z/VSE, in which case you're probably only using one or two processors anyway.

Re:Not quite... (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 2 years ago | (#37986602)

If you're running z/OS, you probably won't mind anyway, as you obviously like to suffer.

Re:Not quite... (1)

DiegoBravo (324012) | more than 2 years ago | (#37986660)

Yep... imagine having to pay several $K for background antivirus software running 24x7.

Re:Not quite... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37987084)

Only windows user are stupid enough to install a program that scans all their file and uploads this information to INTERPOL for processing and prosecution. Anti-virus OMG, people still use those.

Renting CPU cycles works (2)

HockeyPuck (141947) | more than 2 years ago | (#37986806)

I manage the storage for a mainframe environment for a large retailer. Our busy season is pretty much now through the end of January. Not only are we in a 'holiday freeze', but we procure additional resources from IBM during this season and then IBM takes them back when we no longer need the resources at the end of the holiday season.

On the other hand, my coworkers who work in open systems, install quite a bit new hardware every August/September in preparation for the holiday rush, and then it sits idle come February/March.

Why it may seem expensive, it is quite efficient to be able to have X number of CPUs in use, and Y CPUs physically installed but not leased, so that if we get crushed at 8am on 'black friday', the admins or our management software can enable those CPUs based upon load. We of course get charged for it. If our load doesn't need the CPU cycles, then we don't enable them and subsequently don't get charged for them.

Re:Renting CPU cycles works (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 2 years ago | (#37986892)

From what I've seen, what you pay for those extra CPU cycles would pay for the new hardware a few times over just the first year. Admittedly, you don't need to install it or have the floor space, but you do get to keep it.

Re:Renting CPU cycles works (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 2 years ago | (#37987316)

My guess is that you have not done the math. Any company that has a mainframe will also have a team of bean counters. They will check the cost of those extra cycles to adding hardware and even look at the taxes involved. Of course cloud based solution may works as well but if you already have the code on a mainframe you would have to also look at the cost of the port and testing to make it work.

Re:Renting CPU cycles works (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37987824)

"Cloud" only gets you so far. Really what is cloud? Automation, Virtualization, Provisioning and Orchestration? Hello, Z has been doing this since before cloud became a buzzword.

If you want true continuous availability, with a need to not lose transactional information, then you need a mainframe.

The anecdotal exorbitant costs of the mainframe are just that anecdotes.
Here's one for you. One company was doing a review of their hardware and operational costs for open systems and their mainframe. Guess who got the cost for the corporate jet, cause the mainframe already had a pricey budget.

Course little things like that are also why companies tend to not want IBM to perform those kinds of cost analysis.

Re:Renting CPU cycles works (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 2 years ago | (#37988950)

Dude don't get your knickers in a knot. My post was mostly pro mainframe. I just said that a cloud based solution like Rackcloud or E2C might work as far as an easy to scale system. I also pointed out that a port of mainframe software to such a system would probably be far more expensive than running it on a mainframe.

Re:Renting CPU cycles works (1)

bws111 (1216812) | more than 2 years ago | (#37987978)

You are missing an important piece of the puzzle: software. The monthly license charge for mainframe software is proportional to the performance of the machine it is installed on. A single z196 box can have anywhere from 240 MIPS to 53000 MIPS. Mainframe customers can get exactly the performance they need for each situation, saving them tons of money on licensing.

Re:Renting CPU cycles works (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37987832)

I can tell you work for Walmart, it's pretty obvious.

Re:Not quite... (1)

JAlexoi (1085785) | more than 2 years ago | (#37986944)

When you want your financial transactions to be 100% correct you will dish out that money. I mean, being a former IBMer, I can't see a lot of value in mainframes outside of the banks. But in the banks I can't see any other solution being as good as IBMs Mainframe.

Re:Not quite... (1)

Relayman (1068986) | more than 2 years ago | (#37987598)

The same reasons it's good for the banks makes it good for other companies. You, as a former IBMer, should know that.

Re:Not quite... (1)

JAlexoi (1085785) | more than 2 years ago | (#37988472)

In cases where it requires the same ultra high precision and reliability - yes. But those cases are not common. And most of those an be covered by lesser hardware.

Re:Not quite... (1)

Relayman (1068986) | more than 2 years ago | (#37989598)

One of my clients, running two iSeries servers for their ERP, email and a sales Web site, was sold to another company. During the purchase process, they reviewed the cost of IT which, for several years now, has been less than 1% of sales, and that includes office supplies! This is for servers without IBM support and without any maintenance support (we buy spare parts when needed). Please don't try that with Windows! It simply won't work.

The purchase went through and the old owners are very happy with me right now.

Re:Not quite... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37987686)

Just a minor correction so as not to mislead the masses. Its when you want a few mistakes in thousands/secs of financial transactions to be 100% logged/traceable/accountable to an end user putting in the wrong data and not due to the machine or environment.

Re:Not quite... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37987144)

We "tolerate" it because it's a SERVICE agreement. We didn't buy a mainframe, we bought computing service provided by a box on our premises. We pay for cycles, but if the cycles stop or slow down for ANY REASON, then IBM *WILL* have it working again within a short number of hours, no exceptions. They will give me a remote tech immediately, and if the tech can't bring the machine up then they give me a tech at my site with parts. If the parts don't bring the machine up within an acceptable timeframe, IBM gives us another machine. Or remote access to another machine. They do whatever they have to do, I don't even care. And they pay us for the outage.

Sure, we can buy the box, use it until it breaks, then have to pay to fix it, but sometimes, in some places, the downtime can cost you more than the machine is worth. Sometimes hundreds of times more than the machine is worth. When no computer or network of computers can provide enough reliability to offset the costs of its downtime, that's where mainframes (and their associated service contracts) live.

The mainframe environment is completely different from the PC world. It doesn't make sense to you because you aren't here. It's like expecting a battleship to operate the same way a city bus does.

Re:Not quite... (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 2 years ago | (#37986756)

SunPCI for the JCL crowd!

Not Really... (2)

afabbro (33948) | more than 2 years ago | (#37986246)

From the article: "Make that Windows right next to the mainframe -- i.e., running on the zEnterprise BladeCenter Extension (zBX), the mainframe/open systems sidecar...First, Windows-in-a-zBX isn't Windows-in-zVM. Still less is it Windows running in a special processor, a la IBM's Integrated Facility for Linux (IFL). So Windows won't be running on non-x64 -- i.e., Big Iron -- CMOS. Nevertheless, customers will be able to manage Windows from their zEnterprise 196 or zEnterprise 114 mainframes...

works for PCs (1)

wedontneednobadges (856106) | more than 2 years ago | (#37986256)

LOL!!! Now IBM will be on the endless Microsoft virus/buggy money train. I think I will buy some IBM stock. This could also put thousands of unemployed programers to work. Constant buggy upgrades, crashing systems, crappy code etc... IBM's revenue should jump 10 fold.

Re:works for PCs (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#37986496)

LOL!!! Now IBM will be on the endless Microsoft virus/buggy money train. I think I will buy some IBM stock. This could also put thousands of unemployed programers to work. Constant buggy upgrades, crashing systems, crappy code etc... IBM's revenue should jump 10 fold.

Not so much IBM's worry - but that of any customer who goes that route.

Bit like replacing a wheel on your car by welding a truck in place - one facing the other direction.

...sort of. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37986280)

Reading through the thick IBM-specific jargon, zBX is actually a blade server management system that places blade servers on a private network connected to the mainframe, with the mainframe managing them. It supports POWER7 (FYI POWER is a "big cousin" to the PowerPC chip) and IBM System x (x86-based) blades.

          So, in actuality, this is Windows running on an x86 box, with the mainframe managing it -- it is not like mainframe Linux where Linux is truly running on the mainframe.

Re:...sort of. (1)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 2 years ago | (#37987004)

If I had mod points... Yeah, Windows doesn't run mainframes. This is like when MS announced Hyper-V would "support" linux.

Don't expect your rational explanation to curtail the "durr, hehe, Big Blue screen of death teehee!" and "Durr, botnet!" childish humor this story will generate.

Re:...sort of. (1)

morcego (260031) | more than 2 years ago | (#37988174)

Dude, comparing POWER to PowerPC is like replacing Charles Sheen with Ashton Kutcher.

Errrrr ......

And following hot on the heals of this .... (4, Funny)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 2 years ago | (#37986420)

... Ferrari have just announced that they will be installing a 125cc engine into their 458 Italia. A spokeman said: "It works'a fine in'a the moped, whats'a the problem?"

Re:And following hot on the heals of this .... (1)

Jeng (926980) | more than 2 years ago | (#37987066)

Funny, I would imagine it being the other way around, IE: Giant Engine ( mainframe ) powering something that would make no sense such as a Vespa Scooter.

Would make the Vespa harder to use and more likely to crash spectacularly.

In related news (1)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | more than 2 years ago | (#37986450)

IBM is in talks with Eset to produce cobol version of it's software.

Re:In related news (1)

Jeng (926980) | more than 2 years ago | (#37987192)

In related news rootkits and virus's both pre-date Windows.

Must be Windows Server (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#37986456)

Why would anyone want to install Windows Desktop on a mainframe?

Of course, the mainframe is a marginalized beast these days. Why would Microsoft want space on there?

Re:Must be Windows Server (1)

jeffc128ca (449295) | more than 2 years ago | (#37986830)

Of course, the mainframe is a marginalized beast these days.

Hardly marginalized. It's doing what it has always done best, which is push lots of data around with raw processing power. Just because you can't see them doesn't mean they aren't there humming away crunching data. If you use an ATM, charge something to a credit card, or receive your pay I guarantee you there is a mainframe at the end of that transaction.

The need for mainframe services never went away, the world just built a whole new computer segment separate from them for new things.

Re:Must be Windows Server (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#37987168)

Of course, the mainframe is a marginalized beast these days.

Hardly marginalized. It's doing what it has always done best, which is push lots of data around with raw processing power. Just because you can't see them doesn't mean they aren't there humming away crunching data. If you use an ATM, charge something to a credit card, or receive your pay I guarantee you there is a mainframe at the end of that transaction.

The need for mainframe services never went away, the world just built a whole new computer segment separate from them for new things.

Everywhere I have worked the mainframes have yielded to blade servers, save one - where they are running some horrible old frankenstein COBOL system in a virtual HP 3000 environment (which could possibly be running on a blade by now, for all I know.)

Re:Must be Windows Server (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37988272)

A virtual HP 3000 environment is not mainframe. Either the places you worked were not really running mainframe workload, or their IT departments are run by idiots.

Re:Must be Windows Server (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37987128)

It's Windows Server that you put on the blades that you connect to the mainframe. With this, you're eliminating the network hops between applications and putting them on a super low latency, memory-level private network. It's incredible for application performance increases when you have things that just can't run anywhere else but Windows. It's not for small shops with an Access database.

The Devil On His Throne (5, Funny)

Das Auge (597142) | more than 2 years ago | (#37986478)

The Devil sits on his throne in Hell. On of his minions comes running in.

"Sire! Sire! Microsoft has ported Windows to a mainframe!"

The Devil favors him with a surprised look. "Is it that time already? The end of the mortal world?"

The minion genuflects before him. "Yes! Yes! End of times, master!"

The Devil rubs his chin. "Windows on a mainframe?"

The minion nods emphatically.

The Devil considers it for a few moments, "Well, I don't think I want it anymore."

Re:The Devil On His Throne (1)

Bengie (1121981) | more than 2 years ago | (#37986634)

2012, here we come!

Re:The Devil On His Throne (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37988444)

I thought he sits in Redmond and he ordered it in the first place!

Oh boy! (0)

T-Mckenney (2008418) | more than 2 years ago | (#37986710)

Now I can watch my expensive mainframe fail at windows activation! Brilliant! Seriously though, who did Ballmer pay-off for this shit to happen? -T

2012 marks the end of the world (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37986754)

The era of 99.99999999999999999% uptime ends December 16.

My two cents....... (1)

Squatting_Dog (96576) | more than 2 years ago | (#37987014)

FORCE WINDOWS, NOARM

This was promised two decades ago... (1)

PinchDuck (199974) | more than 2 years ago | (#37987130)

NT was going to be ported to everything. MIPS, DEC Alpha (No love for you VAX people), and the IBM Mainframe.
It made it onto the Alpha, I think. Sort of. Now Windows is brought in to the mainframe, but not as a conqueror displacing System/360. It is brought in wearing chains, in a cage, by System/360's grandson.

Re:This was promised two decades ago... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37987258)

But the chains are not bad. Faster disk access is main improvement.

IBM being doing this for years on the AS/400. Again great improvement in disk access. Does think what a disk drive looks like that is Raid 10 across 1000 drives.

Re:This was promised two decades ago... (1)

Tomato42 (2416694) | more than 2 years ago | (#37988816)

>1000 spindles

Isn't flash in form of PCIe cards cheaper and just as performant?

some comments from an actual mainframe systems guy (2)

TheLoneGundam (615596) | more than 2 years ago | (#37987254)

  1. As many have said, this is Windows on a blade, in a frame that is part of the mainframe box
  2. It will most benefit Windows-based applications which access mainframe things on the back end (such as GUI .Net apps with DB2), because the servers are attached through a high-speed internal network.
  3. The system management tool for the hardware will provide unified management of the z/box and the blades, which will help some folk.
  4. There actually was a "Windows" implementation on the mainframe at one time, Bristol had ported Wind/U (a Windows API implementation) to z/OS Unix Systems Services - but after some pushback from Microsoft I believe their license to do so was revoked.

Big Blue Screen of Death (0)

jolyonr (560227) | more than 2 years ago | (#37987402)

Probably.

MinNus 5, Troll) (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37987474)

Have no Fear! (1, Informative)

s.petry (762400) | more than 2 years ago | (#37987588)

No no, your Main Frames will not start to blue screen, reboot twice daily for "Critical Security Patches", or need a Microsoft Certified *chuckle chuckle* Administrator. It's simply blade support which has been unavailable until now (for good reason IMO).

Big Blue is not in the Cloud game, but this does give a nice option for big iron selection from Cloud vendors. Since it's still the buzz word, IBM may as well cash in on it.

Re:Have no Fear! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37988988)

So what you're saying is that beards are still going to be mandatory as well as BO and utter social retardation?
See, I can be a jackass too.

Microsoft holding back Windows (0)

Relayman (1068986) | more than 2 years ago | (#37987678)

You do understand that Microsoft is the one keeping Windows off the mainframe. I'm sure if Microsoft were to give its blessing, IBM would assign 300 programmers to port Windows Server to mainframes (System z) and midrange servers (Power Systems) in a heartbeat. I think Microsoft is afraid of IBM!

In other news (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#37987688)

Fisher-Price announced today that they will be producing a utility pickup vehicle. It will ship with a sonic lifeform identification unit, and a string-activated audible warning system. The power plant will be an aero-plastic bobble-bed reactor with a Kinetic Inductance Drive transmission and it will run on injection-molded run-flat composite tire-wheels.

Whatza mainframe? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37987780)

Seriously, this is like announcing an iPod dock for MGB motor cars (only arguably less useful). It doesn't hold interest for that many people and the audience that it potentially COULD affect are not likely to install it...

Re:Whatza mainframe? (1)

Guy Harris (3803) | more than 2 years ago | (#37988348)

Seriously, this is like announcing an iPod dock for MGB motor cars (only arguably less useful). It doesn't hold interest for that many people and the audience that it potentially COULD affect are not likely to install it...

O RLY? [britishv8.org] Just Google it. [google.com]

And, yes, presumably they wouldn't be offering this if they didn't think it's useful to be able to run Windows on x86 blade servers plugged into IBM mainframes.

Does this mean (1)

Anomalyst (742352) | more than 2 years ago | (#37987836)

you get a Big Blue Screen of Death?

My... (1)

igaborf (69869) | more than 2 years ago | (#37987846)

... that pig sure is pretty in lipstick.

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1)

achowe (829564) | more than 2 years ago | (#37987864)

Bad enough that Windows exists on mobile phones and has infiltrated Nokia, but to be allowed on mainframe kit would be horrible. I might tolerate my laptop running an OS I consider flakey, but can restart in 120s to clear the problem, yet mainframes promise an extremely high level of quality and assurance. Microsoft in my mind has failed to demonstrate that level of quality over the years.

Games! (1)

lunasee (1766706) | more than 2 years ago | (#37987898)

That will make a great rig for playing games! Now taking it to LAN parties will be an issue...

Will they never learn ? (1)

morcego (260031) | more than 2 years ago | (#37988040)

IBM used to support Windows NT on their Risc/6000 stations (selected models only). It was a big disappointment, and IBM lost quite a lot of money with that stunt. (Including very high support costs).

Now they are at it again. Seriously ? Won't they ever learn ?

man... (1)

Danzigism (881294) | more than 2 years ago | (#37988070)

Imagine a Beowulf Cluster of Mainframes.

Re:man... (1)

Guy Harris (3803) | more than 2 years ago | (#37988370)

Imagine a Beowulf Cluster of Mainframes.

Isn't that a Linux meme, not a Windows meme? If so, then, given that Linux (unlike Windows) does run on S/390 and z/Architecture, it could probably be done....

Why? (1)

datavirtue (1104259) | more than 2 years ago | (#37988194)

Seriously, why would this be needed?

There isn't a font big enough (1)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 2 years ago | (#37988200)

BLUE. SCREEN. OF. DEATH.

I know the release date (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37988294)

It is 2012-DEC-20 00:00:00 UTC

IBM'll support anything (1)

SpaghettiPattern (609814) | more than 2 years ago | (#37988534)

IBM'll support anything as long they can flog their overpriced CPUs together with the pitch that it eventually is cheaper considering rack space and personnel.

The solution to a problem that never existed (1)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 2 years ago | (#37988560)

Thanks, Microsoft.

Microsoft should know better than this. (2)

dmgxmichael (1219692) | more than 2 years ago | (#37988828)

Microsoft should know the principle of network externals better than anyone. In computing you often can't dethrone the status quo with a better product, much less an inferior one (and I'm going to guess the Windows solution is inferior in this case if, for no other reason, lack of access to the source code). It is this principle that keeps Windows alive on the desktop in the face of better solutions - and it is what allowed IE to hang on as long as it did.

Microsoft would be better served trying to make some presence on the phone market before it is too late. iPhone and Android are already entrenched to the point that where phones a traditional market Microsoft would be utterly doomed. But they get a saving grace in that phone contracts and devices tend to rotate about once every 2 years. That rapid rotation might give them a chance, otherwise they are shackled to their desktop market - a market that is now just as irrelevant to the future as the mainframe market that IBM lorded over the computing world with back in the 1980's, until Microsoft themselves dethroned Big Blue.

This doomed foray into big iron isn't any more likely to succeed now than it was in the 1980's. IBM has most of the share and none of the players in the field want to have anything to do with Microsoft. These machines are being used by engineers who want total control over the hardware they own and expect nothing less - which is why Linux is the dominant OS and the other major OS'es are open source. I doubt Microsoft really even understands the market they are trying to enter. On the whole its a waste of their time and resources.

Old hat - Unisys Clearpath has done this for years (1)

Kittenman (971447) | more than 2 years ago | (#37989518)

I've been working on Unisys mainframes/Enterprise servers for years (decades...) and they run their OS on top on a "hardened" Windows server (2008 on the latest). I never get to that level (thank god) and it's the poor engineers who fiddle with it.

And it causes problems - Windows device drivers aren't as flexible as Unisys ones. And for that reason the latest Unisys Clearpaths have lost the Microsoft layer entirely - run on Firmware that runs on the chips. Safer, more controllable, in-house. So, IBM are following Unisys by about a decade... ho hum.

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