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DBS to deploy IBM z15 mainframes

Singapore’s DBS Bank has signed a seven-year deal with IBM to run and modernise mission-critical applications on z15 mainframes

Singapore’s DBS Bank has signed a seven-year deal with IBM to deploy the z15 mainframe as part of its mainframe modernisation efforts.

The z15, which has a smaller, more energy efficient footprint, will enable DBS to modernise some of its mission-critical applications, with up to 15% improvements in core engine performance compared to the z13.

The green architecture of IBM z15 with newer compilers and energy efficient cooling technology will also potentially improve energy performance by 25%.

Under the terms of the agreement, IBM will lend its management expertise to help DBS simplify its IT infrastructure and optimise its existing software and application workloads.

Jimmy Ng, DBS’s group CIO and head of technology and operations, told Computer Weekly in April 2020 that the bank plans to maintain its use of mainframes for a small number of workloads through containerisation.

“I don’t think mainframe technology is going to come to a standstill,” he said. “The fact that IBM has bought Red Hat shows that there’s going to be some progress in how they’re going to provide a migration path or enabling the use of mainframe hardware in more productive ways.”

Martin Chee, managing director of IBM Singapore, which has been DBS’s technology partner for over 20 years, said: “This new seven-year agreement is a reaffirmation of our capability in the banking industry and the value we bring to this relationship.

“IBM will work closely with the DBS team, to enhance their customers experience through encryption everywhere, hyper scalability, performance, availability and transaction integrity on the new z15.”

DBS currently uses Red Hat OpenShift as one of its application platforms, but it is uncertain if the bank will also run OpenShift on its new z15 mainframes. Earlier this year, IBM announced that the Red Hat OpenShift container platform is generally available for IBM Z and IBM LinuxOne.

IBM declined to comment further on this story.

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