IBM just released its latest quarterly numbers, and being the largest bellwether of the information technology world, things are looking up. And a really interesting piece of the news is the fact that mainframe sales are soaring. Big Blue reports that revenues from System z mainframe server products increased 15% compared with the year-ago period. Total delivery of System z computing power, as measured in MIPS (millions of instructions per second), increased 54%. 

The insurance industry continues to rely heavily on mainframe computer power, and it's no secret that industry IT and vendor executives alike have been involved in years of study and debate, trying to determine when and where insurers need to jump off, into the distributed systems world.

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