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Complete 360

After 45 years, innovation brings the mainframe full circle.

After 45 years, innovation brings the mainframe full circle.
Photography by Chip Williams

Q: What mainframe requirements or innovations do you see in the future?

A: We recently completed a look into the next generation of the mainframe: What are key industry drivers, from application and technology standpoint? We’ve taken that and have a detailed development plan in place. We’re on our way to delivering the next generation, post System z10*, in a way that will again light up the industry in terms of our direction.

We’re at another technology inflection point. The industry is struggling with the end of the era, where each year the microprocessor performance could go faster and faster. Now, you open your laptop and it probably says “dual core.” Customers are driven by not only speed, but also by the capability to have parallel processing and use multiple cores.

The move is to using technology to fit the problem, or creating a hybrid system. When we unveil the next mainframe generation, you’ll see we’ve taken a leadership position and will provide the world’s most advanced hybrid processor, focused on unique customer requirements. One of the areas we’re focusing on is online or real-time data analysis and data mining. It’s no longer OK to ship information over to a high-performance computing cluster, wait for an answer, and maybe have one by the end of the day. You want to do fraud detection and risk analysis, and you want to do it in real time. The capability for real-time numerical analysis is an extension of what the mainframe is today.

The need to have real-time data mining and an understanding of customers is important. We’re listening to customer needs, understanding where technology is and going out to prove the mainframe is the place you want to be for your business to thrive.

Natalie Boike is a former IBM Systems Magazine managing editor.


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MAINFRAME > TRENDS > z/OS

Complete 360

After 45 years, innovation brings the mainframe full circle.

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