IBM has introduced its cheapest mainframe, with pricing starting at about £55,000, as a platform for supporting service oriented architecture transactions.
The System z9 Business Class mainframe offers specialised processing engines and encryption capabilities and consumes less electricity than competing servers, IBM said.
The machine is designed to help users build composite applications using a service oriented architecture.
IBM said users could run multiple virtual servers on a z9 box, providing substantial energy savings.
The z9 Business Class and its larger sibling, the z9 Enterprise Class, will be the first to offer the System z9 Integrated Information Processor, an engine that runs database workloads and is designed to help free-up general computing capacity and lower software costs for select workloads such as business intelligence, ERP and CRM on the mainframe.
Ray Titcombe, chairman of the IBM Computer User Association, said the mainframe had been struggling to keep market share, so a price cut was inevitable.