Mainframes are becoming scarcer but businesses that are considering having their mainframes retired may have a number of reasons to rethink their decision.

Alternatives such as Windows or Linux-based commodity servers may not do what a modern mainframe can do. In the past, mainframes were huge boxes that ran solitary, industrial-strength operating systems.

However, the latest mainframes are highly modular systems capable of running mainframe as well as Linux-based systems. This occurs within mainframe core processors and/or specialty engines and blade servers. In short, mainframes have become more sophisticated, secure, and scalable.

This means mainframe systems can be used to consolidate everything or as a private cloud. Rather than having a large server farm, the organization can focus on managing the one system based on the single mainframe.

Additionally, mainframes could be the least expensive option for certain businesses. Emerging markets are seeing strong mainframe sales, partly due to reliability, stack integration, and other factors. These other factors include the fact that mainframes may be more 'business-ready' and present lower risk than other systems that require more work 'out of the box' .