It's not the server that decides how you'll get the best availability, it's the software and the peripherals and the connections and the networks...
For example, RAIDed disks will provide higher availability than non-RAIDed disks, whether you are on a server or a mainframe. If you dual connect the disks to the host you'll have even higher availability. If your RAIDed disks are mirrored between separate disk arrays and the disk arrays are on separate power circuits you'll have still higher availability. Those things are all true regardless of whether you are using a server or a mainframe.
The host is a component of the equation but it is not the only component that decides what level of availability you can expect.
Evan L. Marcus
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This was first published in September 2002