IDC whitepaper, Webcast discuss mainframe, UNIX migrations to Windows

According to IDC, 2010 will be an “inflection point” for IT departments – with the recession subsiding, now is the time when many datacenter upgrades will finally get the green light. IDC released a whitepaper (sponsored by Microsoft) today to help IT professionals running mainframe or Unix systems learn about the benefits of moving applications to a Windows Server and SQL Server environment.


The past decade has seen companies moving to x86 servers on a Windows platform, which is evident by the growth of Windows Server operating environment shipments, declining growth of Unix servers, and the increasing use of Windows deployments for business-critical deployments (business-oriented workloads including business processing and decision support doubled from 11.2% of the worldwide total for Windows Server deployments in 2000, to 22.2% in 2008). According to IDC, Windows captures four out of every five deployments industry-wide for collaborative workload deployments. For IT Infrastructure deployments, Windows captures three out of every four new deployments


What is more impressive than those deployment numbers is the results these IT departments are realizing. Owens & Minor, an $8 billion distributor of medical supplies, moved several of their custom applications from a dated mainframe to x86 servers running migrated COBOL code, Microsoft Windows Server 2008 and the Microsoft SQL Server 2008 relational database. This resulted in an estimated $4 million in annual system cost savings for Owens & Minor.


Another example is Kimball International, a $1.2 billion manufacturing company with diverse operations ranging from electronics to furniture to medical devices. The IT department at Kimball International found they could reduce IT hardware, software, and support costs through a move from Unix on RISC servers over to Windows on x86 servers to support the company’s business critical SAP application portfolio. By migrating to Windows Server, the company has estimated total savings of about $500,000 per year due to reduced database software licensing fees, lower management costs, reduced costs for acquiring backup and other infrastructure software, reduced hardware expenses and vastly lower support and services costs when using the x86 hardware.


Take a moment to read the IDC whitepaper titled, “Business-Critical Workloads: Supporting Business-Critical Computing with an Integrated Server Platform,” and be sure to view the Webcast discussion with IDC’s Al Gillen on Computerworld.