What is Mainframe?

The mainframe is the most powerful and fastest type of computer compared to personal computers. This type of computer can process vast amounts of information in a short time and perform millions of instructions per second. They are designed for a specific task only and have large storage capacities.

What is Mainframe?

Mainframe Computers

Mainframes are large, expensive, and very powerful computers that serve and manage hundreds or thousands of connected users simultaneously. It can run server tasks and store massive amounts of data on a network. Users can access the host computer via terminals or personal computers.

Basically, a mainframe is a type of computer used in a wide variety of fields such as commerce, banking, statistics, web services, or research.

Mainframe computers first appeared in 1944 with the ASCC (Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator) device known as the Harvard Mark I, developed in conjunction with IBM, Harvard University.

This type of computer offers many advantages to companies and public institutions. Although personal computers may seem like an ideal solution for many factors, they are an indispensable solution for companies, thanks to the processing speed and multi-user capacity offered by mainframes.


Mainframe systems are huge computers used by large companies to process critical data such as big data processing and other statistical online tasks.

Therefore, it allows engineers to perform many tasks easier and in a shorter time in the field of industry.

The mainframe does not have the processing capabilities of supercomputers but is used more in research for large companies.

Another reason for the widespread use of mainframe systems is system security. Attacking these computers with viruses is much more difficult with a large number of security measures thanks to strong system security.

Another important feature is the ability to add storage devices or other devices without the need to shut down the mainframe thanks to the HotSwap mode. This way, companies can perform hardware updates without suspending important services that require costly operations.

These large computers are designed to run continuously without power outages, as well as contain a number of internal functions that allow them to maintain their own maintenance, including safety functions and additional power supplies.

As mainframe computers are the most important computers in a company, they are protected both internally and externally by a strong security layer and alternative power methods, and they also have protection mechanisms against overheating.

As a result, mainframes operate uninterrupted for extended periods of time due to high stability, compatibility, and security.

   Differences Between Mainframe and Supercomputer

Although mainframes and supercomputers are large and complex devices, they can perform calculations at incredible speed. These devices are similar in that they offer large compute and large storage capacity.

Mainframes were developed to offer much more reliability in high-speed data processing, but lag behind supercomputers in computing.

Therefore, supercomputers have been developed to maximize computing processing power. Also, supercomputers are widely used in military, scientific research, and engineering fields.

Nowadays it is very difficult to see and understand the difference between the main computers and super computers. Until the early 1990s, most supercomputers were based on a host architecture with supercomputing extensions.

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