In the Dark of Night

June 12th, 2013ClearPath

On June 3rd, 2013 one of Unisys’ financial clients, one that prefers to be nameless, as most do, moved to a new system … and no one noticed … just as they, and we had hoped.

On May 31st, a Unisys designed, proprietary enterprise server, a Libra 590, a Mainframe for those that insist, processed transactions worth nearly 2 trillion dollars … as it did every day for the nearly 7 years since being first installed… it would be its last day on the job. And like the seven generations of Unisys ‘Mainframes’ that preceded it, each quietly maintained the backbone of a major world economy .. going largely un-noticed and some might say unappreciated it did what it was designed to do.

On June 3rd that all changed… or did it? True, a Libra 6290 complex; a Unisys designed, enterprise class, mission critical, computing platform based on Intel’s Xeon architecture replaced the installed Libra 590s, true, but nothing else changed. Not the operating system software, Not the application, Not the data… and most important… Not the User Experience.

So, on June 3rd, at the end of just another processing day, transactions worth just shy of another 2 trillion dollars moved as it should where it should when it should … Quietly, as it has for decades … the first day of work for the 6290s.

This is the lot for most of our ClearPath clients… the systems simply do as they must, day in and day out, without much fanfare, and usually without notice.

The significant accomplishment this June day was the degree of technological change deployed was without precedent. Never before have we fundamentally changed system architecture ‘on the fly’. To call this a ‘mainframe’ isn’t entirely fair … in some respects it is everything a mainframe was supposed to be … scalable, rock solid and secure. In many ways it simply is different … Mainframes aren’t built using state of the art Intel processing technologies, they aren’t usually thought of as being efficient and green, they aren’t often seen as being innovative. Yet this latest system is literally all new … it combines the most progressive technologies into a form that delivers the class of service our clients, and you, demand day in and day out and continues our tradition of delivering computing for a mission critical world.

The thing about this is it really isn’t all that extraordinary… rather it is what we do. So on any given night, a fundamental infrastructure… financial, transportation or communications related in running on Unisys technologies quietly and reliably … and on some nights that infrastructure is being replaced with our latest offerings. The thing is you only know that because I’m telling you … it won’t be in the morning paper, or on the news, it simply will go un-noticed… just as we had hoped it would.

Tags-   ClearPath Mission critical Scalability Security


Jim Thompson

Jim Thompson is the chief engineer and vice president of Engineering and Supply Chain at Unisys. In this role, Jim is responsible for the design, development and manufacture of technology products that align with the Unisys’ strategy and marketplace needs.