When you hear terms such as 'IBM 3270 emulation' or 'Stratus emulation', you may balk. You know they have something to do with computers, but you probably haven’t the foggiest idea beyond that. Well, allow us to explain. These are examples of terminal emulation software. It may sound obvious but, to put that simply, this software mimics or 'emulates' terminals.
The death knells of the mainframe have been sounded for years now, yet despite all these calls, the mainframe lives on. It has not died, and it is showing no signs of dying. Despite competition for workloads from high-end Unix and Intel-based servers, as well as the rise of cloud computing, mainframes – or ‘big iron’ as they’re colloquially referred to – persist. However, the terminals or ‘green screens’ that were traditionally used to communicate with mainframes have not persisted, instead being replaced with terminal emulation software ( 3270 emulation, for example), which mimics the role terminal hardware once played.