IBM unveils System z10 mainframe

IBM has unveiled its latest mainframe, the System z10. The product is designed to improve performance and reduce power requirements and cooling costs.

The new machine, based on quad-core technology, is equivalent, in terms of performance to nearly 1,500 x86 servers, according to IBM. The z10 is designed to be up to 50% faster and offers up to 100% performance improvement for CPU-intensive jobs compared with its predecessor, the z9, with up to 70% more capacity, IBM said.

IBM said the new mainframe would also consume 85% less energy and have a footprint that is up to 85% smaller.

With the introduction of this new server, users who could not previously afford the high-end z9 model may be able to pick one up at a significant discount, said Joel Owens, president and CEO of mainframe consultant Top Gun technology. In a recent article, he found that the average price per Mip (millions of instructions per second) of a used z9 was under £507, significantly less than the £1,268 price per MIP of new z9 hardware.

The server is able to run Linux, XML, Java, WebSphere and increased workloads from service oriented architecture (SOA) implementations, IBM said. IBM is also working with Sun Microsystems and Sine Nomine Associates to pilot the Open Solaris operating system on System z.

The 64-processor z10 has been designed to automate the provisioning of processing power when needed to address changing business conditions. IBM said this could be used in financial services and retail institutions where an IT manager can schedule and automatically provision pre-set levels of processing power to manage spikes in demand.

IBM has also begun shipping DB2 for z/OS Value Unit Edition, which is licensed as a one-time-charge offering that enables the deployment of new application workloads. This offering strengthens the role of System z as a cornerstone for key business initiatives such as SOA, data warehousing, business intelligence and packaged applications such as SAP. DB2 for z/OS Value Unit Edition and IBM Information Server enable System z clients to further deliver trusted information for their dynamic warehousing requirements.

IBM also plans to add Master Data Management capabilities to System z in the second half of this year. This will include the InfoSphere Master Data Management Server for Linux on System z, which allows businesses to centrally manage customer, product, and account data for use across an enterprise.

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