Mainframe computers are crucial for some of the largest companies in the world. Each mainframe has more than a modern CPU, RAM ranging from a few megabytes to several gigabytes score, and disk and other storage media than anything on a microcomputer. A mainframe can control multiple tasks and serve thousands of users per second without downtime.
The principal difference between mainframes and other computer systems is the level of the processing that takes place. Mainframes are also different in terms of bandwidth, organization, reliability and control. Large organizations banking, healthcare, insurance, and telecommunications companies etc. using mainframes to process critical business information.
In this article, the evolution of mainframe computers and their components, we will discuss.
History of mainframe computers
IBM developed a crucial part of mainframe computing, the Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator (ASCC) for arithmetic operations in 1944. From the late 1950 through the 1970s, several companies made mainframes, IBM, Burroughs, RCA, NCR, General Electric and Sperry Rand, for example. Since then, System / 390 from IBM is used, the only type of mainframe. It evolved from IBM’s System / 360 in 1960.
An Early mainframe occupied a huge space. New technologies drastically reduced the size and the cost of the hardware. A current generation mainframe can fit into a small box
Components of a modern mainframe computer
Like a PC, a mainframe many parts of the processing of data: . Operating system, motherboard or motherboard, processor, controllers, storage devices and channels
• motherboard :. The motherboard of a mainframe computer is composed of a circuit board that makes it possible to work the CPU, RAM, and other hardware components together by means of a concept called “Bus Architecture”. The motherboard has slots for device input cards and cable interfaces for various external devices. Nearby PC motherboards use 32- or 64-bit bus, mainframes use 128-bit bus. General instructions concerning helping the internal architecture to connect the motherboard to pick up the other devices and data using binary computation
• Processor :. A CPU acts as the central processing point in mainframe architecture, and includes an arithmetic logic unit (ALU) for performing arithmetic operations. It also works as a controller for the bus architecture and treats traffic and requests data. The computing power of mainframes is much higher compared to PCs, so they can handle large amounts of data
• Storage devices :. Storage devices are for entering, retrieving, storing and recording data. Many are external devices such as hard drives, tape drives, and punch card readers, all connected to the terminal of the mainframe and controlled by the CPU. Their capacity for data storage can be hundreds or even thousands of times that of a PC
• Communication controllers. Communication Controllers allow remote computers to access a mainframe. With the help of the networks, LAN or WAN, communication controllers connections with various devices to perform data transfer via communication channels, and track the users at terminals
• Channels :. The “channels” the cables used are the CPU and the main storage to be connected to other parts of the system and to ensure that the data is moved in a systematic manner, without loss of its integrity.
Modern mainframes have advanced features like comprehensive service management capabilities, cross-platform integration facilities, etc. and are therefore suitable for critical data center operations. The cost of maintaining the modern systems is much less when compared to older models.