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History of IBM Mainframe






  1. IBM Mainframe hardware
  2. IBM mainframe operating systems


The history of IBM Mainframe development is described in short.

The main points of hardware  and software developments are defined   at  fixed  years up to 2014 as follows.



  1. IBM Mainframe hardware


First-generation 700s : From 1952 into the late 1960s, IBM manufactured and marketed several large computer models, known as the IBM 700/7000 series.

1954 – IBM 705

1959 – IBM 1400 series (business data processing; very successful and many 1400 peripherals were used with the 360s)

The second generation (transistor-based) products were a mainstay of IBM’s business and IBM continued to make them for several years after the introduction of the System/360 in  1964.

The System/360 later evolved into the System/370, the System/390, and the 64-bit zSeries, System z, and zEnterprise machines. System/370 introduced virtual memory capabilities in all models other than the very first System/370 models.

The zSeries family, introduced in 2000 with the z900, included IBM’s newly designed 64-bit z/Architecture. The new servers provided more than four times the performance of previous models.

2. IBM mainframe operating systems

Operating systems for the System/360 family included OS/360 (with PCP, MFT, and MVT), BOS/360, TOS/360, and DOS/360.

The OS/VS1 variant of OS/360 MFT, the OS/VS2 (SVS) variant of OS/360 MVT, and the DOS/VS variant of DOS/360 were introduced to use the virtual memory capabilities, followed by MVS, which, unlike the earlier virtual-memory operating systems, ran separate programs in separate address spaces, rather than running all programs in a single virtual address space.

The virtual memory capabilities also allowed the system to support virtual machines; the VM/370 hypervisor would run one or more virtual machines running either standard System/360 or System/370 operating systems or the single-user Conversational Monitor System (CMS). A time-sharing VM system could run multiple virtual machines, one per user, with each virtual machine running an instance of CMS.

The primary operating systems in use on current IBM mainframes include z/OS (which followed MVS and OS/390), z/VM (previously VM/CMS), z/VSE (which is in the DOS/360 lineage).


DOS/360(System/360- System/360 CPU (model 25 and above)+ CICS, DOS/VS(virtual system – +add virtual memory)-1972(System/370), DOS/VSE-extended -1979(4300 processors), VSE/SP (“System Product”) + VSE/AF(Advance facility), ACF/VTAM, CICS, and POWER/VS-1986 (9370 processors), VSE/ESA (Enterprise system  architecture) – 1990 (ESA hardware)- VSE/ESA 2.7last, z/VSE – 2005 ( z/VSE 3.1 ) last z/VSE 4.1 released in 2007 (“System z” line).


OS/360 +CICS– 1970 (PCP, MFT and MVT had different approaches to managing memory), OS/VS1 – up 1983, and in 1984(system 370), OS/VS2 (SVS –single virtual system) and MVS(multiple virtual system),  MVS upgrades: MVS/SE, MVS/SP Version 1, MVS/XA (1981), MVS/ESA (1985), OS/390 (1996) and currently  z/OS (2001).

IBM z/OS Version 2 Release 2 — Fueling the new digital enterprise

IBM United States Software Announcement 215-006
January 14, 2015

VM/370 (system 370)- series of upgrades: VM/SEPP, VM/BSEPP, VM/SP, VM/SP HPO, VM/XA MA, VM XA/SF, VM XA/SP, VM/ESA and z/VM.

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