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Processing large amounts of data in business and research requires powerful computers. So-called Mainframes are used for mass data processing.

What is a Mainframe?

A Mainframe is a large computer with a very high computing power. Mainframe s are used in data centers as so-called background computers for the processing of large data sets. This type of mainframe computer was widely used until the introduction of the first personal computers (PCs) in the early 1980s. Several terminals can be connected to one Mainframe. These terminals are called dumb terminals. They have no computing power of their own. They are only used to input data, while the mainframe stores all programs and performs arithmetic operations.


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What are Mainframe computers used for?

Mainframe s are mainly used for commercial, scientific or organizational processing of large amounts of data. For example, at insurance companies, research institutions or in meteorology. Their performance lies between that of so-called mid-range and supercomputers. The central processing unit of Mainframes often consists of several hundred to several thousand multi-core processors that can access main memory with a size of several hundred Gigabyte to several Terabyte .

Known Mainframes are

  • IBM-Mainframes /360 and /370
  • the System z10 from IBM
  • Fujitsu-Siemens business servers.

The use of Mainframes is always useful when certain tasks cannot be solved with powerful PCs and when results with a high degree of accuracy must be available in a short time.

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