IBM sales jump shows the mainframe is not dead, with hybrid cloud alive and well

At a time when most enterprises are planning cloud deployments and many are reportedly sharpening their mainframe exit strategy, IBM is seeing double-digit growth in its big iron business for the quarter ended September.

The company, which declared its third quarter results on Wednesday, reported a 98% jump in revenue for its z line of mainframe computer in terms of constant currency (that is, eliminating the effect of currency fluctuations).  

IBM, which buckets mainframes under its infrastructure line of business, released the z16 mainframe in April before beginning to sell it in the second quarter.

At launch, industry observers said they expected that the performance and scalability of the z16 would pave the way for more use of the mainframes in hybrid-cloud environments. And complementing the jump in mainframes sales, IBM revenue for its hybrid infrastructure business was also up last quarter.

For the quarter ended September, IBM’s infrastructure line of business—which includes hybrid infrastructure, distributed infrastructure, support and mainframes—reported a total revenue of $3.4 billion, up 23.1% year-on-year. Specifically, the company’s hybrid and distributed infrastructure business were up by 41% and 21% respectively.

Meanwhile, in another sign that the mainframe is still alive, Google, during its annual conference Cloud Next 2022 last week, claimed that a significant number of enterprises still run on mainframes when it launched a mainframe migration service, dubbed Dual Run.