Ten Facts Covering 50 Years of IBM Mainframes

By Dennis McCafferty
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    The IBM System/360 took four years and $5 billion to develop. It cost $2,700 for a basic configuration and $115,000 for a large, multisystem one.

In 1991, industry experts called for the “inevitable” death of mainframe computers. Well, to paraphrase the famous Mark Twain quote, reports of the mainframe’s death have been greatly exaggerated. In fact, on April 8th, IBM celebrated the 50th birthday of the System/360 with a celebration in New York. As part of the festivities, IBM introduced its first “Master the Mainframe World Championship” competition, an expansion of its nation-by-nation "Master the Mainframe" contests. It involved 44 students from 22 nations who created and presented their app inventions on mainframes, based on a challenge that focused on mobile banking. The current IBM System z mainframe continues to add new functions and products. Among them are the IBM Enterprise Cloud Server, which enables companies to build secure, reliable public and private clouds as part of a preconfigured, factory-built system using open standards. Given the historic significance of the System/360's 50-year milestone, we’re presenting the following 10 facts about the IBM mainframe and how it has changed the world.

This article was originally published on 2014-04-14
Dennis McCafferty is a freelance writer for Baseline Magazine.
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