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What is a Mainframe Computer and How Does It Work?

Mainframes are computers that are used to store data.“Throughput”As fast as possible, a throughput is defined as“The rate at which data are processed”. Mainframes are also used to process transactions; a transaction is a collection of operations, including disk read/write, operating system calls, and transferring data between subsystems …”.

Mainframes are more powerful than servers and microcomputers, but they have less processing power than a supercomputer.
The Main-frames’ main focus is throughput. “A throughput refers to the rate at which something can be processed.”

Mainframe Computer Components

There are two types of mainframe processors. The main processor is the primary one, while the System Assistance Processor (or SAP) is the second. SAP processors don’t process data, but rather move data as quickly as possible.
A processor can contain up to 7-10 cores that are specifically designed for ‘higher throughput.
Up to 160 I/O cards can be stored on a mainframe. They also have a lot of ROM (Solid State Drives), which allow for faster data storage and transfers.

Main-frames are equipped with many I/O cards. This is because they are designed for redundancy. If one card fails, the other cards will take over until that card is replaced.

What are the mainframe computers used for?

Main-frames are used to ensure availability, reliability, redundancy, and redundancy. These computers are essential to ensure that there is no downtime.
These computers are reliable and have redundancy. If an I/O card fails for any reason, its workload will automatically be transferred to another I/O card. This ensures ‘0’ downtime. This is crucial to ensure proper transactions.
Similar to the previous example, if a problem occurs with a processor module then the workload will be transferred.

What is the difference between Mainframes and Supercomputers?

The Main-Frames can be used to speed up processing or ‘throughput’, while the Supercomputers are used to crunch numbers. They deal with huge amounts of data to forecast weather and solve complicated mathematical models for computation.

Advantages

  • It is extremely fast.
  • Multiple inputs can be handled simultaneously
  • Redundancy: Can withstand the failure of a component without affecting its function.
  • They are always available and will continue to be so as long as they have been started.
  • Reliability.

Disadvantages

  • Mainframes are not meant to be used as regular computers. They were designed for a specific task.
  • To run, it requires a special OS.
  • They are very costly.
  • Mainly used to process transactions and other commercial activities.
  • A supercomputer cannot solve complicated problems or calculate complex calculations.

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