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Mainframe Computer Definition

Intermediate – Computing

Reading Time – 1 minute, 20 seconds

The mainframe computer definition translates as a type of giant computer designed to process bulk data such as a large number of records or transactions. Those types of computers are used as centralized business computers. The bulk data process takes place on the mainframe computer. Multiple terminals are used to input data and display results. Mainframe computers were first developed in the late 1950s and have constantly evolved since then. IBM and Unisys are the leading global manufacturers of mainframe computers. To sum up, that’s the mainframe computer’s definition

Mainframe Computers Features

Some of the common features include:

  • Mainframe computers are designed for centralized data processing and can handle a huge workload. Hence why most business organizations use mainframe computers to assure the availability and reliability of their services.
  • The mainframe computer’s terminals lack in user-experience as they aren’t designed for typical end-users.
  • These computers are set up in fully isolated and highly secured locations. They are used for critical and bulk data processing such as credit card transactions, tollbooth records, insurance details, and tax records.
  • They are expensive because they are manufactured with a large number of central processing units (CPU) to support greater processing power. They are also assembled with bigger random access memory to support huge memory capacity. When they are produced, they need multiple disk devices to store large amounts of processed data and multiple terminals to support multi-user environments.
  • The modern mainframe computers are designed to run multiple operating systems (OS) simultaneously. They are also able to support cloud computing and virtualization.
  • Mainframe computers are bigger than personal computers in size and typically smaller than supercomputers which are designed to process a large number of mathematical operations.

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