IBM announces that its much-anticipated capability to support Windows integration on the System zEnterprise mainframe will be available on Dec. 16.
IBM has made good on its promise to
deliver Windows integration with the IBM mainframe via the zEnterprise System.
When IBM introduced the zEnterprise in July 2010
company also announced plans to deliver additional general-purpose blades for
the IBM zEnterprise BladeCenter Extension including IBM System x-based blades
running Linux in 2011. IBM also suggested it would support Windows, and in April 2011 it confirmed its plans
Windows support on z/Enterprise.
IBM says this capability is a first of
its kind and is a strategic, demand-driven move by Big Blue. As of Dec. 16,
this new technology enabling IBM zEnterprise System
users to integrate Windows
applications into the mainframe environment will become available.
The new capability allows enterprises
with multitier applications-for example, Windows applications connected to
mainframe data-to be integrated and consolidated on the same system. In an
interview with eWEEK
, Greg Lotko,
vice president of marketing for System z, said this bringing together of the
mainframe and distributed computing worlds is designed to ease the cost and
complexity of large corporate data centers and improve management of workloads
spanning mainframe and distributed environments.
"We GA'd [made the system
generally available] in the third quarter of 2010," Lotko said. "In
Q4 of last year we put out the zEnterprise BladeCenter Extension with support
for IBM Power7 blades running AIX and the IBM Smart Analytics Optimizer. In Q1
of 2011 we made the DataPower blades available. In Q2 clients asked for Windows
so we listened to our clients and modified our plans and said we would deliver
it by the end of the year. In Q3 we delivered Linux integration, and in Q4 we're
By bringing Windows and the mainframe
together, IBM is helping clients innovate more freely in multiple environments
across z/OS, Linux and Unix, and now Windows.
IBM's System z support for Windows
means that mainframe users can gain more choice in choosing the best platform
for a particular application-from ERP to business analytics to transaction
processing. Users also can have their front-end Windows applications integrate
with applications or data on the mainframe. And they can consolidate more
workloads onto the mainframe as part of their efforts to maximize technology
investments. The financial impact of consolidation onto System z can be
substantial, with savings of up to 70 percent in total cost of ownership
compared with distributed platforms, IBM officials said.
"The effort we had to do here was
largely a testing effort," Lotko said, indicating that the core technology
already was in place but the new integration had to be tested.
Lotko said the new technology provides
centralized management-the new capability of consolidating and centralizing
management of Windows applications on x86-based IBM System x servers will be
available for either of the zEnterprise systems: the z196 or z114, he said.
Through a hybrid computing approach,
IBM System x blades and System x applications can be installed in a
zEnterprise. No changes are required for the application, and integration and
management of blades and applications are handled by the zEnterprise Unified
Resource Manager, via a single console, IBM officials said. The benefit is that
the application servers can be physically and logically close to the data
running on the mainframe.
The hybrid capability already had been
available for managing IBM Power-based workloads with operating system support
for AIX- and System x-based workloads with Linux as well as a business
analytics solution-the IBM Data Analytics Accelerator-and a multifunctional
appliance for System z-IBM Websphere DataPower XI50 for zEnterprise. With these
capabilities, IBM's zEnterprise System is pushing a "system of
systems" approach that allows disparate workloads spread across multiple
systems to be managed as a single environment.
IBM also is helping enterprise data
center customers better manage their arsenal of disparate technologies added
over time to run specific applications. These systems typically operate in
individual silos, requiring separate staff and software tools to manage, with
the additional complexity of interacting and communicating with each other in
"The new heterogeneous virtual IT
infrastructure will give us greater flexibility and scalability," Huub
Meertens, head of the Support Engineering Section at Eurocontrol, the European
air traffic management organization in the Netherlands, said in a statement. "On
our existing servers, the various applications operate independently on diverse
platforms, based upon the one-server-one-application model. The combination of
IBM System z with Intel servers in an ensemble configuration turns out to be
the best solution for modernization of our IT infrastructure. Given our complex
IT infrastructure with high safety and security requirements, reliability,
scalability and management at a competitive price are very important. It is for
these reasons that Eurocontrol has opted for the IBM zEnterprise with zBX