Liam Proven lproven at gmail.com
Thu Sep 6 14:08:12 CDT 2007

On 06/09/07, Patrick Finnegan <pat at computer-refuge.org> wrote:
> On Thursday 06 September 2007, Liam Proven wrote:
> > Well, we could compare installs, or we could compare users. It's up
> > to you. Either way, I'll warrant that its market share now is
> > infinitisemal compared to what it once what.
> >
> > Even if they're shifting a million seats a year, which I really very
> > much doubt, they're doing so in a market of hundreds of millions of
> > users a year of other platforms. It's marginal. It may be
> > high-margin, but it's a tiny drop in a big ocean.
> How do you count "number of users" on a payroll system?  There's
> probably only a couple of users, but it's the number of people who get
> paid which matters...

Is it? Even if none of those people access said computer in any way?

I don't know any metric, off the top of my head, that attempts to
measure systems' importance. What matters, what sets prices, is users,
number of processors, number of systems, things like that. This is
what determines sales charts and so on.

Even if you measured the mainframes' /cost/ as an absolute, it would
still be tiny compared to the hundreds of millions of PCs sold.

Take the mainframe away, lots of people would be inconvenienced, yes.
But the same is true of those millions of PCs.

> > All right, up to a point, yes. I've been watching the progress of
> > Linux on S/390 and zSeries with some interest. I still don't reckon
> > it's a very significant market share, and furthermore, every site
> > running primarily or totally on Linux/390 is a site that's running
> > less on actual IBM OSs.
> Unless they're running the typical Linux/390 environment under zVM.
> >From what I'm told, this is the most common arrangement, and lets IBM
> still sell large amounts of VM while customers are running Linux on the
> end layer.
> > Indeed, tho' I don't know a lot about mainframes, I have a feeling
> > that most Linux/390 is deployed on z/VM - which is to say, in an LPAR
> > under VM - rather than under z/OS, which is to say, MVS. Linux is
> > probably actually displacing MVS - z/OS - rather than helping it.
> Yeah, but zVM isn't free any more than zOS is.  In effect, "zLinux" is
> helping IBM sell zVM.  (And, more importantly to IBM, helping to sell
> maintenance contracts, and consulting work).

No argument there.

Liam Proven • Profile: http://www.linkedin.com/in/liamproven
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