IBM Unveils Latest zEnterprise Mainframe Server

IBM announced a new zEnterprise System - the z114 - intended for adoption in small to medium-size businesses, and designed to consolidate workloads from hundreds of x86 servers. The new machine, with a base price of $75,000, offers significant improvements over the IBM z10 BC system, the company says.

In addition, IBM also announced the ability to integrate and manage workload on select IBM System x servers running Linux as part of the zEnterprise System. Support for Microsoft Windows on select System x servers will follow, IBM says.

At a starting price of under $75,000 - IBM's lowest ever price for a mainframe server - the zEnterprise 114 is designed to consolidate workloads from 40 x86 processors running Oracle software on to a new z114 with three processors running Linux, and over a 3- year period, total costs for hardware, software and support on the new z114 as compared to consolidated servers can be up to 80% less with similar dramatic savings on floor space and energy, according to IBM.

IBM also introduced new features that allow the zEnterprise System to integrate and manage workloads on additional platforms, including 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 zEnterprise Blade Center Extension (zBX), customers can also extend mainframe qualities, such as governance and manageability, to workloads running across multiple platforms. Up to 112 blades can be integrated and managed as part of zBX. Different types of blades and optimizers can be mixed and matched with in the same BladeCenter chassis. IBM also announced IBM Enterprise Linux Server, designed to run up to hundreds of virtual Linux servers concurrently and ensures isolation and protection of each virtual server environment.

The z114 is powered by up to 14 microprocessors, of which up to 10 can be configured as specialty engines. 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 also claims that the z114 offers up to an 18% performance improvement for processing traditional System z workloads over its predecessor the z10 BC, and up to an additional 25% improvement for microprocessor intensive workloads using compiler enhancements.

The z114 runs all the latest zEnterprise operating systems, including z/OS V 1.13, which was announced concurrently with z114. The new version adds 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 industry leading security capabilities.

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