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9 Mainframe Statistics That May Surprise You

Authors Photo Christopher Tozzi | June 26, 2020

How important are mainframes today? One way of answering that question is to take a look at some statistics relating to how mainframes are currently used. Keep reading for mainframe statistics that you may find surprising.

1. Mainframes are used by 71 percent of Fortune 500 companies.

More specifically, they use IBM Z systems. (Source.)

2. Mainframes handle 90 percent of all credit card transactions.

Did you buy something with your Visa or Mastercard today? More likely than not, a mainframe made it possible. (Source.)

3. Mainframes handle 68 percent of the world’s production IT workloads, yet they account for only 6 percent of IT costs.

That’s according to IBM, which obviously has a horse in the mainframe game, and it is unclear exactly how these figures were calculated. However, if we assume that these numbers are anywhere close to accurate, they are impressive, especially for what they reveal about the cost-efficiency of mainframes. (Source.)

4. IBM’s z15 system can support up to 40 terabytes of memory.

That’s 40,000 gigabytes, for those of you keeping track at home. (Source.)

5. A z13 mainframe can survive an earthquake having a magnitude of at least 8.0 on the Richter scale.

How do we know? Because someone ran a test, complete with a video to prove the results. (Source.)

6. Mainframes handle 30 billion business transactions each day.

That’s a lot of credit card payments, stock trades, and other business-critical transactions. (Source.)

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7. Revenue from z System sales increased 62 percent year-over-year with the 2019 release of the z15 system.

Yes, IBM continues to make a lot of money from mainframe sales. (Source.)

8. As of 2019, 96 of the world’s largest 100 banks, nine out of 10 of the world’s largest insurance companies, and 23 of the 25 largest retailers in the US continue to use mainframes.

Sure, the cloud is great and x86 servers are cheap, but when you’re a company with millions of transactions to process each day and ultra-tight security needs, nothing beats the mainframe. (Source.)

9. The median mainframe programmer salary is about $76,282 according to PayScale. 

That’s $13,298 higher than the median salary for computer programmers in general, according to the same site. (Source.)

As these mainframe statistics confirm, mainframe systems are still a vital part of the business landscape. Learn how to leverage your mainframe for maximum value. Read our white paper: Getting the Most Our of Your Mainframe