Enterprise IT Consultant Views on Technologies and Trends

Jul 23 2010   3:18AM GMT

IBM Hybrid Mainframe unveiled – Giant leap for Mainframes

Sasirekha R Profile: Sasirekha R

 IBM Hybrid Mainframe unveiled – Giant leap for Mainframes

IBM has unveiled the Hybrid Mainframe – the zEnterprise mainframe server and a new systems design – that allows workloads on mainframe, POWER7 and System x servers to share resources and be managed as a single, virtualized system. The new mainframe is also the most powerful and energy-efficient mainframe ever.

The new systems design combines IBM’s new zEnterprise mainframe server with new technology–the IBM zEnterprise BladeCenter Extension. The IBM zEnterprise Unified Resource Manager- another first of its kind – enables it to manage workloads running across System z, and select POWER7 and System x servers.  

The zEnterprise System is the most powerful IBM system ever. The core server in the zEnterprise System–called zEnterprise 196–contains 96 microprocessors running at 5.2Ghz, capable of executing more than 50 billion instructions per second.  

What this new mainframe brings:

  • New technology boosts complex analytics performance up to 10X, delivering insight from business data in minutes versus hours.
  • zEnterprise is the most powerful, scalable mainframe server ever – up to 60% faster than System z10(3) for new workloads.
  • Most energy efficient mainframe – more than 100,000 virtualized servers managed as a single system. 60% more capacity than z10 while using same amount of energy.
  • zEnterprise System can drive up to 40% lower acquisition costs and reduce cost of ownership by 55%.
  • zEnterprise Unified Resource Manager enables mainframe quality of service attributes, including security and reliability, to benefit workloads running on select Power and System x BladeCenter systems.
  • Improves network security across applications spanning the complete zEnterprise system, including workloads on IBM POWER7 and System x blades and reduces the need for additional encryption and firewall security software.
  • The new IBM microprocessor technology has software to optimize performance of data-heavy workloads, including up to a 60% improvement in data intensive and Java workloads (a factor that can have direct implication on software licensing cost savings).
  • The z196 can be configured to include up to 80 specialty engines – zAAP, zIIP, IFL – to further reduce costs and increase performance. Refer to the earlier blog https://itknowledgeexchange.techtarget.com/enterprise-IT-tech-trends/ibm-mainframe%e2%80%93-saving-costs-using-specialty-processors/ for details on Specialty engines
  • New compilers also announced to help customers update applications to take advantage of the zEnterprise architecture. The new IBM Rational C++ compiler can boost overall application performance by as much as 60%.

Definitely an impressive list! Developed over 3 years involving around 30 clients, with more than $1.5 billion spent on research, this indeed could be the giant leap that takes IBM and Mainframe to the next era. Of course, we have to wait and see how the customers react to this and especially the pricing strategies.

Multiple technologies and hardware have become a burden on Enterprises and lots of time and effort spent on getting these to communicate with each other. With “Going Green” becoming the mantra everywhere, data center consolidation initiatives have already started or planned for. The new IBM hybrid mainframe seems to have come at the right time and able to exploit this trend.

This move of IBM has started getting positive feedback from traditional mainframe customers like Citi and Mainframe ISVs like BMC.

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