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Expanding Beyond Borders

IBM zEnterprise System announcement delivers a new dimension in computing.

Cover Story - IBM zEnterprise System announcement delivers a new dimension in computing.
Photo Illustration by Roy Wiemann

To meet the performance levels today’s businesses demand, the supporting IT infrastructure has grown difficult to manage. IBM is proposing a new type of IT growth with its zEnterprise* System: one that can clear away disconnected servers and consolidate workloads onto one platform, capable of scaling both vertically and horizontally while at the same time simplifying management.

With the July 22 announcement, “We think we can address some of the most challenging issues our clients face in the data center,” says Karl Freund, vice president of strategy and marketing for System z*. Many of today’s IT issues stem from platform selection based on one part of an enterprise workload. The downside of platform selection is complexity, which breeds cost and risk, and creates a very difficult-to-manage environment, he explains.

Now, IBM is taking what the System z server has always done well in the past—which is vertical integration from the application down to the OS and the firmware—and extending that integration concept horizontally, across different computing platforms. This will allow clients to extend mainframe governance and qualities of service to an end-to-end view of workload components, Freund says.

Building on System z

IBM’s next-generation server, the IBM zEnterprise 196 (z196) is the industry’s fastest and most scalable enterprise system. Its 5.2 GHz superscalar processor can scale up to 96 cores and up to 3 TB of memory. “This is the fastest and one of the most scalable system designs in the industry today,” says Paulo Carvao, IBM vice president, System z global sales. “If you translate this to direct impact on customer workloads, we’re talking about in excess of 30-percent improvement over traditional z/OS* workloads and in excess of 60-percent improvement in performance for Java* software-based workloads. All of this is in the same energy envelope of today’s System z10* server.”

The efficiency is such that IBM can deliver a virtual server in this environment running Linux* on System z for less than $1,000 per virtual image, according to Freund. “What we have in the z196 is worthy of a major announcement all by itself with major enhancements to energy efficiency, performance, scalability and manageability.”

What we have in the z196 is worthy of a major announcement all by itself with major enhancements to energy efficiency, performance, scalability and manageability.
—Karl Freund, vice president of strategy and marketing for System Z

Natalie Boike is a former IBM Systems Magazine managing editor.


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