Big Data and the New Mainframe Era

March 30, 2013

Short honk. Navigate to either your paper copy of the Wall Street Journal or the electronic version of “Demand Surges for Supercomputers.” The estimable Wall Street Journal asserts:

Sales of supercomputers priced at $500,000 and higher jumped 29% last year to $5.6 billion, research firm IDC estimated. That contrasted with demand for general-purpose servers, which fell 1.9% to $51.3 billion, the firm said.

Most folks assume that nifty cloud services are just the ticket for jobs requiring computational horsepower. Maybe not? For the cheerleaders for big data, the hyperbole to crunch bits every which way may usher in a new era of—hang on, gentle reader—the 21st century mainframe.

Amazon, Google, and Rackspace type number crunching solutions may not be enough for some applications. If big iron continues to sell along with big storage, I may dust off my old JCL reference book and brush up on DASDs.

Stephen E Arnold, March 30, 2013

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