Mainframes Continued Vitality

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2011-11-07 Print this article Print


IBM officials said this announcement represents another example of the mainframe's continued vitality. Indeed, the mainframe remains a source of value for banks, insurance companies, governments, major retailers and other IBM clients who benefit from its high levels of security and reliability. Backed by $1.5 billion in research and development and years of direct client input, IBM's newest zEnterprise demonstrates the company's ongoing mission to innovate and address key challenges.

"We did hear from quite a few clients who said they had Windows applications and they wanted to take advantage of this technology," Lotko said. Asked whether he expected this demand to translate to more mainframe sales, Lotko responded, "We're expecting an uptick."

IBM has continued to see mainframe momentum since shipping its new System zEnterprise 196 last July, with new clients and system upgrades in mature and growth markets. Sample mainframe clients from growth markets include PKO Bank Polski (Poland), Garanti Bank (Turkey) and Nova Ljubljanska Banka (Slovenia). Since July 2010, IBM has added more than 80 new mainframe clients worldwide, with more than 30 percent of these in emerging markets around the world. China recently announced its selection of System z to build a cloud computing platform that will improve the life of more than 300 million citizens in China via an online portal for a variety of social services, IBM said.

With the capability, IBM customers can now run z/OS and Linux on System z along with IBM AIX, x86 Linux and Microsoft Windows on the zEnterprise System.

"The IBM DB2 for z/OS is a secure and highly available repository for the bank's data," Ales Levstek, chief information officer of NLB (Nova Ljubljanska Bank), a large bank in Slovenia, said in a statement. "High-performance specialty processors have significantly improved query response times as compared to our previous solution. The new zEnterprise hybrid technology is highly scalable and flexible, which means that our users are now able to access the information they need more quickly."

"Eurocontrol has the z architecture as well as Linux systems, and they wanted to continue on a strategy of using heterogeneous systems," Doris Conti, director of System z marketing at IBM, told eWEEK. "So with the hybrid technology they are able to maintain their heterogeneity and also have flexibility to add other workloads, like Windows. Meanwhile, NLB was looking at the hybrid technology to help increase the performance of its DB2 queries. We continue to see clients looking at the technology for all of these different kinds of uses."

Darryl K. Taft covers the development tools and developer-related issues beat from his office in Baltimore. He has more than 10 years of experience in the business and is always looking for the next scoop. Taft is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and was named 'one of the most active middleware reporters in the world' by The Middleware Co. He also has his own card in the 'Who's Who in Enterprise Java' deck.

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