Simplifying Data Center Management

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2011-07-12 Print this article Print


Indeed, the ability to integrate and manage workload on select IBM System x servers running Linux as part of the zEnterprise System is a move that could further simplify data center management and reduce costs. This capability is delivered through the IBM zEnterprise Unified Resource Manager and zBX, which allows customers to integrate the management of zEnterprise System resources as a single system and extend mainframe qualities to workloads running on other select servers.

The zEnterprise System can now integrate and manage workloads running on tens of thousands of off-the-shelf applications on select general-purpose IBM Power7-based and System x blades as well as the IBM Smart Analytics Optimizer to analyze data faster at a lower cost-per-transaction and the IBM WebSphere DataPower XI50 for integrating Web-based workloads. Up to 112 blades can be integrated and managed as part of zBX. Different types of blades and optimizers can be mixed and matched within the same BladeCenter chassis.

IBM said the Linux capability will begin shipping in September, and support for Windows on System x blades will begin shipping in the fourth quarter of 2011.

"When you get into the different personalities, the Linux opportunity is massive," Gelardi said. Yet IBM also has seen considerable-if not equal-demand for Windows support on the zEnterprise system, he said.

With the z114, clients can start with smaller configurations and access additional capacity built into the server as needed without increasing the data-center footprint or systems-management complexity and cost, IBM said. The new z114 is also designed to consolidate workloads from hundreds of x86 servers.

The z114 is powered by up to 14 microprocessors, of which up to 10 can be configured as specialty engines, IBM officials said. These specialty engines, the System z Application Assist Processor (zAAP), the System z Integrated Information Processor (zIIP), and the Integrated Facility for Linux (IFL) are designed to integrate new Java, XML, and Linux applications and technologies with existing workloads, as well to optimize system resources and reduce costs on the mainframe.  For example, using a fully configured machine running Linux for System z, clients can create and maintain a Linux virtual server in the z114 for as little as $500 per year, IBM officials estimated.

Getting more specific on stats, the z114 offers up to an 18 percent performance improvement for processing traditional System z workloads over its predecessor, the z10 BC, and up to an additional 25 percent improvement for microprocessor intensive workloads using compiler enhancements.

In addition, the z114 runs all the latest zEnterprise operating systems, including the newly announced z/OS V 1.13. This new version delivers new software-deployment and disk-management capabilities. It also offers enhanced autonomics and early error-detection features, as well as the latest encryption and compliance features extending the mainframe's security capabilities. Meanwhile, additional compliance and encryption features, the result of a multiyear effort from IBM Research, further enhance security with cryptography built into the DNA of System, IBM said.

IBM System z servers are also making inroads in emerging markets like Africa. Governments and businesses in Cameroon,Senegal and Namibia have all recently purchased new IBM mainframe servers.

Meanwhile, IBM announced that IBM Global Financing offers attractive financing options for existing IBM clients looking to upgrade to a z114 as well as clients currently using select HP and Oracle servers. For current System z clients, IBM Global Financing (IGF) can buy back older systems for cash and upgrade customers to the z114 on a Fair Market Value (FMV) lease, which offers a predictable monthly payment. IGF will remove and recycle these older systems in compliance with environmental laws and regulations and pay clients the fair market value of HP and Oracle-Sun servers. IGF is also offering a six-month deferral of any hardware, software, services or any combination for clients who wish to upgrade now, but pay later.

IGF also is offering a  zero percent financing for 12 months on any IBM Software, including IBM middleware for the z114 such as Tivoli, WebSphere, Rational, Lotus and Analytics products, the company said.

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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