The world’s largest banks have historically relied on mainframes to manage all their transactions and the related cash and profit. In mainframe terms, hundreds of thousands of MIPS are used to keep the mainframe running these transactions, and the cost per MIP can make mainframes extremely expensive to operate. For example, Sears was seeing the overall cost per MIP at $3000-$7000 per year and didn’t see that as a cost-effective way to compete with Amazon. While the price of MIPS has continued to improve, mainframes can also face pure capacity issues.
In today’s world of financial regulations, risk, and compliance, the entire history of all transactions must be captured, stored, and available to report on or search both immediately and over time. This way, banks can meet audit requirements and allow for scenarios like a customer service call that results in an agent search for the transaction history leading up to a customer’s current account balance. The volume of information created across checking, savings, credit card, insurance, and other financial products is tremendous—it’s large enough to bring a mainframe to its knees. Continue reading