SAN FRANCISCO—IBM Tuesday launched its most powerful zSeries mainframe—code-named T-Rex—and IBM Global Services will be one of the first to use it in its brand new data center in Boulder, Colo.
When IBM “cuts the ribbon” on the new On Demand Data Center in June, it will seamlessly move its customers to a pair of the new zSeries 990 eServers, which can scale up to process 450 million e-business transactions a day and manage hundreds of Linux virtual servers in a single box, according to Jim Corgel, general manager of IBMs e-business hosting and utility services.
“This is not you fathers data center,” he said.
“Theyll move me onto the new 990, but I wont see that. This makes my life easier because Im not focused on that. I can focus on my business,” said Paul Mercurio, CIO at Mobile Travel Guide in Park Ridge, Ill.
The new Boulder On Demand Data Center is the first to use IBMs Utility Management Infrastructure, which Corgel said gives customers the capacity they need when they need it and allows them to take advantage of virtualized network, processor, storage and middleware utilities.
Mobile Travel Guide, a new venture that just launched a travel service geared toward driving vacations, chose to work with the On Demand Data Centers rather than invest in equipment and talent to run the online service itself.
“I was able to maintain my capital, contain operating costs and, after the summer travel peak, I can turn capacity off,” said Mercurio. “We view IBM services as an extension of our team. Our software developers have to work closely with IBM.” Mercurio estimated that he is saving about 20 percent to 25 percent of his operating costs by taking this approach.
In a cluster, the z990 eServers can handle 13 billion transactions a day or thousands of Linux virtual servers. A 16-way z990 can process up to 11,000 Secure Sockets Layer transactions per second.
Along with the triple performance boost over existing IBM zSeries 900 servers, the new server was designed with a variety of features that advance IBMs on-demand computing initiative. The new servers exploit the Intelligent Resource Director, which balances workloads dynamically according to priorities set by the customer.
The z990, which includes a fourfold increase in memory and bandwidth, adds the ability to dial up and dial down capacity according to business requirements. The new On/Off Capacity on Demand feature marshals additional engines within seconds and then shuts them down to allow customers to respond to daily or seasonal demand surges.
A new release of the z/VM operating system allows users to create and manage hundreds of Linux virtual servers in one box. That feature is intended to attract customers looking to further consolidate their computing resources.
Farmers Insurance Group plans to consolidate its mainframe environment onto three of the new z990s to reduce costs and “lower the footprint,” according to Larry Berger, director of systems operations for the insurance company, in Los Angeles.
IBM spent four years and $1 billion developing the new z990 eServer, according to Bill Zeitler, senior vice president of IBM Systems Group.
IBM will extend its workload prioritization capability to other systems outside of the zSeries, and the company is working to “harvest” investments in the zSeries for other IBM platforms, Zeitler said. “Were trying to be pragmatic. We dont see technology sharing as a threat,” he said.
Zeitler also said IBM is lowering the reference price for its zSeries eServers by 40 percent. And the company is making its On/Off pricing available across all of its system products, he added.
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