New IBM Mainframe is Built for Analytics, Cloud and Mobile

IBM announced its new zEnterprise BC12 (zBC12) mainframe, designed for enhanced analytics, cloud, and mobile computing. Priced at $75,000 for the base model, IBM says it is targeting smaller organizations. The computer giant says it is also adding new industry solutions and software and operating systems across its zEnterprise portfolio, designed for financial services and government operations.  

“Analytics, cloud and mobile computing are changing the way businesses in all industries engage with their customers,” according to Patrick Toole, general manager of IBM System z. IBM’s new zEnterprise offerings “address these challenges by providing clients with a powerful and highly secure platform to manage new and emerging workloads, helping speed time to market, reduce costs and stimulate business growth by making stronger connections with customers.”

Compared to its predecessor, the z114, the new zBC12 includes a faster processor (at 4.2 GHz) and two times the available memory, IBM says.

The new z/OS 2.1 operating system included with the system enables the latest zEnterprise hardware features (zEDC and SMC-R), and includes performance and scalability enhancements for data serving workloads. The new OS also includes "Crypto as a Service," a capability that enables Linux on System z applications to use z/OS services to encrypt data.

Linux-Only Version

IBM also announced it is delivering a new Linux-only based version of the zBC12, the Enterprise Linux Server (ELS). The ELS includes hardware, a z/VM Hypervisor and three years of maintenance. The system can run a portfolio of more than 3,000 Linux applications, and clients can extend it with two new solutions, ELS for Analytics* and *Cloud-Ready for Linux on System z, as an on-ramp for analytics and cloud computing.

New Hardware Functions

New hardware functions in the zBC12 provide CPU and storage savings by compressing

data on the server. For example, there is a new high speed, low latency I/O connection for enabling up to an 80 percent reduction in network latency.  Also, z/OS 2.1 includes simplified management through z/OSMF. There is also a new 2:1 ratio for zIIP and zAAP special-purpose engines for improved workload economics. With z/VM 6.3, clients can now consolidate up to 520 virtual servers in a single footprint with the increase in real memory and the new HiperDispatch function. 


For analytics, the new IBM zEnterprise Analytics System 9710 now includes zBC12 and DB2 10 for z/OS VUE providing a foundation to deliver a cost effective analytics deployment.


For cloud computing, the zBC12 can consolidate up to 40 virtual servers per core or up to 520 in a single footprint for as low as $1.00 per day, per virtual server, IBM says. The vendor also enhanced the IBM OMEGAMON for z/OS family to detect performance problems.


To help bridge the gap between mobile devices and enterprise data and services, the new system includes native JSON support and conversion between JSON and data structures with the new CICS Transaction Server Feature Pack for Mobile Extensions V1.0 and DB2 11 for z/OS (ESP).

More details are available at