Types of Mainframe Computers

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Types of Mainframe Computers

Introduction to Mainframe Computers

The mainframes computers are the type of computers that have high-performance can be used for intensive processing of operations that cannot be done by normal computers. The mainframe computers are mainly used in the banking sector, corporate sector, and government agencies as there is always a requirement of the secured system so that transactions can be done in a secure manner, and data can be kept safe from the external world. There is a different type of mainframes computers that can be distinguished on the basis of operating systems, data code set, and manufactures. Some of the mainframe computers are ENIAC, UNIVAC, ASCC.

Various Types of Mainframe Computers

The mainframe computers have certain characteristics that make the system different from each other. Some of the characteristics are operating system, size, and cost. In the market, there are several types of mainframe computers that are used in different sectors as per user requirements.

In the below section, some of the mainframe computers are described below:

1. ENIAC (Electric Numerical Integrator and Calculator)

The ENIAC mainframe computer was used in developing the atomic bomb and was the major reason for developing this type of mainframe computer. In this system, there are thirty separate units, an air cooling system that is inbuilt in system and power supply. The weight of the ENIAC system was around 30 tons and also has different components like capacitors and resistors. The power consumption was also very large that was around 2000 kilowatts.


The UNIAC mainframe computer was the successor of the ENIAC mainframe computer system as the processing speed was improved in this mainframe computer and also the size of the system was small compared to the ENIAC mainframe system. The UNIAC system was used because of its accuracy as the results given by the system were very accurate and used in various sectors.

3. ASCC (Automatic Sequence Control Computer)

The ASCC mainframe computer was developed in the year 1944. The major purpose of the development ASCC computer was to solve the addition and multiplication problem taking no time and can solve in seconds.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Mainframe Computers

Some of the advantages and disadvantages of mainframe computers.


The mainframe computers are widely used in different sectors as they have several advantages. Some of them are mentioned below:

High Computing Power: There is an inbuilt capability in mainframe computer to process massive chunks of data and can also support the complicated applications to run with high computing speed. The complex applications can be developed and run in mainframes computer.
Scalability: The mainframe computers have the compatibility with big power type processors and other ultra power processors can be added in the mainframe computer to increase the computing speed. The mainframe computers also support increasing the size of the storage device so that huge chunks of data can be processed easily.
Virtualization System: The mainframe computers use the concept of virtualization in which the whole system is divided into tiny logical segments so that memory limitation issues can be resolved and computing performance can be increased for a mainframe computer.
Reliability: The mainframe computers are very reliable as the bugs and threats can be easily identified in this type of computer and can be self recover without using any embedded resources. The mainframe computers are so reliable that they can run for 40-50 years without the need for any kind of maintenance.
Self-Serviceability: As the mainframe computers are reliable in nature it has the capability to self identify the threats and bugs and then self recover from that bugs. The mainframe computer does not allow to degrade the performance and recover from the bugs in a very short time span.
Protection: The mainframe computers are used by the large-scale organization as there is a requirement of protecting the confidential data and information from the external world. The mainframe computer uses the advanced authentication system that provides extra protection to the large-scale organization and they can easily use the mainframe computer.
Flexible-customization: The mainframe computer design is flexible and can be modified as per the user requirement. In the mainframe computer, there is functionality that at a time multiple operating systems can be installed in the system. And as the performance measure is very good for the mainframe computer the usability of system increases in every sector like banking sectors, corporate sectors, and government agencies. At a time multiple applications can be run in the system without affecting the performance of the system.


As there are several disadvantages of mainframe computers but there are still some flaws present in mainframe computers. Some of them are mentioned below:

As there are very advanced features in mainframe computers it directly increases the cost of the system and cannot be afforded by a normal user. The large-scale organization can only afford the mainframe computers. The features offered by mainframe computers are also not relevant to the normal user as the user requirement is very low compared to features offered by mainframe computers.
The environment needed to mainframe computers is different from normal computers. As temperature should be very low where the mainframe computers are placed. The space required for mainframe computers is also very large compared to normal computer systems.
Need of professional staff to handle the mainframe operations and handle the bugs and errors if the system reports.
If any component goes down then the whole system goes down that is considered as a major setback for mainframe computers.
The resource consumption of mainframe computers is very large compared to normal computer systems. As the mainframe computers offer advanced features it requires too many resources thus ultimately increase the cost of the system.
As there are more than one operating system can be installed in mainframe computers thus it increases the complexity to read instructions and increase complexity for the user to use the system.


The mainframe computers are the special computer systems that are high-speed computers used to perform very fast transactions and processing speed is also very fast compared to the normal system. There are various mainframe computers that can be selected as per user requirements and can be used accordingly.

Recommended Articles

This is a guide to Types of Mainframe Computers. Here we also discuss the introduction and different types of mainframe computers along with advantages and disadvantages. you may also have a look at the following articles to learn more –

Mainframe Testing
Mainframe Interview Questions
Careers in Mainframe
Advantages of Virtualization

The post Types of Mainframe Computers appeared first on EDUCBA.

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