IBM announces a new $75,000 mainframe aimed at midsize organizations. Big Blue also announced Linux x86 blade support for its zEnterprise Systems, with Windows support coming later in the year.
A year after rolling out its breakthrough zEnterprise
mainframe system, IBM has announced a new "entry-level" mainframe server to
extend mainframe qualities and capabilities to more organizations, especially
companies and governments in emerging markets in Asia, Africa and elsewhere.
In addition to the new mainframe, IBM also announced support
for System x blades within the zEnterprise System running Linux. The company
also said support for Windows will come later in the year.
The new system, the IBM
zEnterprise 114-a version of the IBM
zEnterprise System the company says is the most scalable mainframe ever-follows
the introduction of the zEnterprise System for the world's largest banks,
insurance companies and governments in July of last year. The new server-which
allows mid-size organizations to enjoy the benefits of a mainframe as the
foundation of their data centers-costs 25 percent less and offers up to 25
percent more performance than its predecessor, the System z10 BC server, IBM
Moreover, it is projected that clients can consolidate
workloads from 40 x-86 processors running Oracle software on to a new z114 with
just three processors running Linux. What's more, IBM claims, over a three year
period, total costs for hardware, software and support on the new z114 can be
up to 80 percent less than that of consolidated servers. Similar savings on
floor space and energy are also possible, said David Gelardi, vice president of
sales support and education for IBM's Systems and Technology Group, in an
interview with eWEEK.
"We're seeing great progress in the market with the
mainframe, especially in emerging countries, particularly in sub-Saharan
Africa, Asia and South America," Gelardi said.
At a starting price of less than $75,000-IBM's lowest price ever
for a mainframe server-the zEnterprise 114 is an especially attractive
option for emerging markets experiencing rapid growth in new services for
banking, retail, mobile devices, government services and other areas, Gelardi
said. These organizations are faced with ever-increasing torrents of data and
want smarter computing systems that help them operate efficiently, better
understand customer behavior and needs, optimize decisions in real time, and
"This is a business-class machine-a smaller version of the
mainframe to attract clients who require a mainframe but have somewhat smaller
needs" than the largest enterprise organizations, Gelardi said.
IBM also introduced new features that allow the zEnterprise
System to integrate with, and manage workloads on, additional platforms. This
includes new support for select System x blades within the zEnterprise System.
These select System x blades can run Linux x86 applications unchanged, and in
the future will be able to run Windows applications. With these capabilities,
the zEnterprise System, including the new z114, can help simplify data centers
with its ability to manage workloads across mainframe, Power7 and System x
servers as a single system. Using the IBM
zEnterprise BladeCenter Extension (zBX), customers can also extend
mainframe qualities, such as governance and manageability, to workloads running
across multiple platforms, IBM officials said.
Gelardi said the resurgence IBM has witnessed with the
mainframe comes not only from existing customers but also from new clients, who
like the flexibility of the system. For instance, Gelardi said one client mentioned
the advantages of the zEnterprise System's "multiple personality" capabilities.
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.