Use of Mainframes in large scale web applications
Mainframe is the industrial term popularly used to represent a very large computer. The name comes from its structure comprising of processors, memory chips, communication units etc which are all stacked inside a frame and therefore it is called the Mainframe. They are usually manufactured by large hardware giants like IBM, Hitachi, Honeywell because of their sheer cost. They are effective for their large-scale computation power which is usually required for banking, insurance and web applications where millions of data to be processed every day! The mainframe system has several processors which can work in tandem and thus give rise to the concept of centralized computing where all the operations of the mainframe work inside the processor section and the output is displayed by another utility program running in background, which is opposite of the distributed computing concept. The first Mainframe ENIAC was designed and put to use at Moore School on 1944.
Even today with the concept of super-computers and distributed computing going popular in the market there are certain sections where the mainframe is still unparalleled. The super-computer can do a lot of mathematical calculations of the hardest sort but the mainframe is still the best when robust calculations of the simple sort are to be done very fast. It is also being put to use for managing large scale web applications for the following reasons:-
- Newer technologies like the Java Server Pages (JSP) and Active Server Pages (ASP) may have been developed but most of the logic required for business is being processed by the centralized computation system of the Mainframe and is then sent back to the webpage for display.
- A huge number of terminals can actively interact with the single Mainframe for processing and does multiple tasks such as querying data, processing transactions, running batch-programs, submitting requests and other online jobs.
- The dual nature of the Mainframe – It can work both as an application server and also as a web server, which makes it popular among users. It can serve several HTTP requests at once; develop applications with the help of the Rational Developer for System Z (RDZ) and after developing such applications it also uploads them on the host computer.
- Another advantage of the mainframe system is its unique ability to share a myriad of data but still protect it from multiple users. Not only that, it also has the ability to identify applications from its digital chronological period and is compatible even with the ones made many decades ago!
Even today all major large scale computing business applications, and especially the web applications, are heavily dependent on the Mainframe system. Mainframe giants like IBM are regularly upgrading their mainframe models so that users can access and manage data more efficiently. They are being used constantly in many day-to-day transactions such as in the Automated-Teller-Machine (ATM), automatic bill payment or flight booking, online banking etc. With all its extensive uses in large-scale computing and web applications mainframes are irreplaceable even today in the age of desktops, laptops and smart phones.
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