z/OS 2.1: Based on 50 Years of Continuous Improvement and Innovation

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SHARE’s new President’s Corner blog post describes this improvement pattern by observing what IBM does in each successive release of its z/OS operating environment.

In only a few months the mainframe becomes 50 years old. And what this means to information technology buyers is that when you buy a mainframe, you’re buying 50 years of continuous improvements in performance and in manageability – and 50 years of investment protection (look at the age of some workloads still running on mainframes). A great example of these types of improvements can be found in one of the mainframe’s operating systems, z/OS.

A closer look at z/OS shows an operating systems that has been designed around resource sharing (the mainframe is a “shared everything” architecture); around security (the System z processor includes on-chip cryptographic facilities and further crypto facilities are available in the systems design); around reliability and availability; around performance; and around integrity (look at the sheer number of transactions a mainframe can handle and consider how it protects data from failures). This operating environment has been designed to support multiple and varied workloads concurrently – and can run the mainframe at 100% utilization rates for long, sustained periods of time. It is decades ahead of some other architectures when it comes to virtualization, provisioning, and workload management. Simply put: it is a marvel of software engineering.

Why are the new z/OS 2.1 enhancements important? Because they further improve mainframe performance while also helping to lower mainframe processing and management costs.

IBM’s pattern for each successive release of the z/OS operating environment can be simply stated as: drive down processing costs, improve performance and continually improve security, all while constantly simplifying management. This same pattern can be found in z/OS 2.1 – new compression algorithms mean that the CPU doesn’t have to process as much work (this saves money); new z/OSMF facilities simplify management (reducing the amount of manual labor an IT manager needs to perform – and also enabling enterprises to use lesser skilled/less costly managers); and new encryption facilities extend best-in-the-industry mainframe security to Linux users. IT executives looking to lower mainframe costs while improving performance should definitely take a closer look at this new version of IBM’s venerable mainframe operating system.

Read the full blog post here.