Jeff Hall argues the case for airlines to make their mainframes bigger (and the rest of their IT smaller).

I’d quibble with a couple of the finer technical points Hall made, but it’s an interesting, provocative take. I wonder how much “inside” information he has.

Paul Vallely, in one of the comments to Hall’s post, reports that, from his perspective as a distressed passenger, the only major piece of IT that was working at Delta during their outage was…their mainframe. Amidst the meltdown, Delta’s customer service agents, reachable by telephone (albeit with long waits on hold at times), had access to Delta’s mainframe-hosted applications and could handle most passenger issues (rebookings, refunds, etc.) “Based on what I saw and heard, it seems the mainframe was not the cause of the problem but it was actually a savior during the crisis,” Vallely wrote.

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