IBM unveils hybrid mainframe – Cloud Computing

IBM on Thursday will unveil a new hybrid mainframe design that aims to cut data center sprawl and be a bridge to other systems.

All of the hardware giants—IBM, HP, Cisco, Dell and Oracle—are producing magic boxes (or armies of them) to modernize data centers and bridge them to cloud computing. IBM is aiming its hybrid mainframe, which is designed to manage other systems too, at the data center simplification effort.

The lead-in to IBM’s zEnterprise System (right) was interesting as rivals were pooh-poohing the effort before the launch. IBM CFO Mark Loughridge foreshadowed the mainframe launch during the company’s earnings conference call.

What’s the hubbub about? IBM is looking to bridge enterprises that run on mainframes with other industry standard servers. While hardware vendors take shots at each other, the reality is that most data centers have multiple hardware components. The key is to integrate those components, cut down on sprawl and save on energy—all while handling massive computing loads.

The design was developed with $1.5 billion in R&D funding with input from 30 customers and more than 5,000 employees around the world. Will this effort work? Ultimately, the IT buyer will decide, but for now there are multiple moving parts to ponder. In a nutshell:

  • The zEnterprise 196 is the core server in the package. It contains 96 processors running at 5.2 GHz each. The server can handle 50 billion instructions per second.
  • IBM is looking to bring central governance and mainframe management tools and extend them to Power7 and System X servers. Think of IBM’s new mainframes as a virtualization hub that manages other workloads in the data center.
  • The new hybrid machines will offer faster analytics capabilities.
  • zEnterprise will be up to 60 percent faster than the predecessor System z10 and use the same amount of energy.
  • The system also rides shotgun with technology called IBM zEnterprise BladeCenter Extension and the IBM Unified Resource Manager to manage workloads across multiple systems.

As for the bottom line, IBM is claiming the zEnterprise System can reduce acquisition costs by 40 percent with total cost of ownership falling 55 percent.

IBM’s move is likely to raise the debate about the mainframe, which has had obituaries written about it for years. Some companies, which are on the scale out with standard servers bandwagon, wouldn’t be caught dead with mainframes. Enterprises that already have mainframes to process a massive amount of transactions—think financial services companies like Citi—will be receptive. Add it up and every big tech company has some spin on converging infrastructure to create efficient, automated computing systems. IBM has the same message with a mainframe twist.

In many respects, IBM is touching on the database and computing consolidation preached by Oracle with its Exadata machine. Here’s an example from IBM’s statement:

Using the zEnterprise System with the zEnterprise BladeCenter Extension and IBM zEnterprise Unified Resource Manager, a financial services company that is managing credit card transactions on the mainframe and using an IBM blade optimized for  analytics, can gain insights from the information in seconds rather than waiting hours for the two disparate systems to integrate their databases.  IBM estimates that complex database queries can experience up to a ten-fold performance improvement in this hybrid environment.  In addition, with IBM’s new architecture, the financial services company can extend the mainframe’s unique, always-on, ultra-secure and reliable qualities to its customer service applications running on IBM blades.

If successful, folks may be calling for the demise of the mainframe another three decades from now.

Here’s a deeper dive on the moving parts of the zEnterprise launch:

  • The IBM zEnterprise BladeCenter Extension is designed to allow applications to be run on general purpose blade servers from Big Blue for specific tasks. These blade servers will be managed as if they were mainframes and be integrated with System z. IBM plans to launch blades running IBM’s flavor of Unix, dubbed AIX. IBM next year plans multiple blades running Linux that will extend to the mainframe.
  • IBM software called Unified Resource Manager will be the firmware that integrates computing resources so zEnterprise can manage it. One system can manage more than 100,000 virtual servers. Unified Resource Manager will also b able to find bottlenecks and failures and fix them.
  • The zEnterprise 196 server is designed to optimize heavy workloads. IBM claims that the zEnterprise 196 will run Oracle workloads for 74 percent less than x86 systems. The system also has a water cooling system that can connect to standard chilled water systems in data centers. The server also has a bundle of IBM software from Tivoli and can be optimized to work with Cognos and SPSS for analytics. Rational and Lotus are also in the mix.

Separately, BMC Software, a leading mainframe software management company, said it will support IBM’s hybrid mainframe with its Business Service Management tools. BMC sees the hybrid approach as a logical way to bring systems together. “IBM’s mainframe approach brings the cloud opportunity to the forefront,” said Bill Miller, president of BMC’s Mainframe Service Management business unit. “This could be a lot more than a traditional server and with its split personality could offer scalability like nothing else out there.”

At the very least, IBM has another data center stack to evaluate.

Article By Larry Dignan at ZDnet

Follow Us!

CloudTweaks

Established in 2009, CloudTweaks.com is recognized as one of the leading authorities in cloud computing information. Most of the excellent CloudTweaks articles are provided by our own paid writers, with a small percentage provided by guest authors from around the globe, including CEOs, CIOs, Technology bloggers and Cloud enthusiasts. Our goal is to continue to build a growing community offering the best in-depth articles, interviews, event listings, whitepapers, infographics and much more...
Follow Us!

8 Responses to IBM unveils hybrid mainframe – Cloud Computing

  1. Proformative, the resource for corporate finance, accounting, and treasury professionals, recently began hosting Cloud Computing webinars that have been saved as podcast/white paper resources on its website covering topics ranging from Risk and Control Consideration in Moving to the Cloud to Managing the Legal Risks of Cloud Computing. proformative.com

    Taylor (Proformative)

Comics

At CloudTweaks, we're plugged into the cloud, the internet of things and all that the web has to offer. From wearable technology, to mobile computing, cloud computing and big data, CloudTweaks is your source for updates and news on the most innovative technology.

Popular

Top Viral Impact

BYOD Will Continue To Define Workplaces In 2014

BYOD Will Continue To Define Workplaces In 2014

BYOD Will Continue To Define Workplaces In 2014 The bring-your-own-device trend has been the subject of scrutiny ever since its initial formation. Given how quickly personal smartphones and tablets became a fixture in everyday life, it makes perfect sense that these mobile machines would slip into workplaces. While BYOD has caused headaches for many businesses,…

Cloud Infographic: Cloud Public, Private & Hybrid Differences

Cloud Infographic: Cloud Public, Private & Hybrid Differences

Many people have heard of cloud computing. There is however a tremendous number of people who still cannot differentiate between Public, Private & Hybrid cloud offerings.  Here is an excellent infographic provided by the group at iWeb which goes into greater detail on this subject. Infographic source: iWeb About Latest Posts Follow Us!CloudTweaksEstablished in 2009,…

Monetization of the Internet of Things – Q&A With Brendan O’Brien

Monetization of the Internet of Things – Q&A With Brendan O’Brien

Q&A With Brendan O’Brien, Co-Founder of Aria Systems (Part 1) Monetization of the internet of things (IoT) is one of the most exciting and challenging issues facing the industry today, so we spoke with Brendan O’Brien to learn more. Brendan is the Co-Founder of Aria Systems, who are one of the leading innovators in recurring…

Cloud Infographic – Big Data Survey: What Are The Trends?

Cloud Infographic – Big Data Survey: What Are The Trends?

Jaspersoft Big Data Survey Shows Rise in Commitment to Projects and Decline in Confusion Nearly 1,600 Jaspersoft Community Members Participate in Second Jaspersoft Big Data Survey San Francisco, February 4, 2014 – Jaspersoft, the Intelligence Inside applications and business processes, today shared results from its Big Data Survey. Nearly 1,600 Jaspersoft community members responded to…

Cloud Infographic: Corporate IT Security Stats

Cloud Infographic: Corporate IT Security Stats

Cloud Infographic: Corporate IT Security Stats Each week on CloudTweaks we provide a few shoutouts to companies who provide engaging and interesting infographics that reflect our readers interests.  In this case, we have an excellent infographic provided by the team at arellia.com which takes a closer look at cyber-security and some of the biggest malware threats…

Featured Sponsors

Moving From Email Into The Cloud

Moving From Email Into The Cloud

Mobile Collaboration In The Cloud Imagine that you, as a manager, are told by the powers that be that you have to find “efficiencies” within your department that will result in one million dollars of savings annually. You struggle with this. You send an email to everyone on your senior team. “Where can we save…

2015 Advertising Opportunities - Find Out More!

Cloud Logo Sponsors

hp Logo CityCloud-PoweredByOpenstack-Blue square_logo_100x100-01
cisco_logo_100x100 vmware citrix100

Established in 2009, CloudTweaks is recognized as one of the leading influencers in cloud computing, big data and internet of things (IoT) information. Our goal is to continue to build our growing information portal, by providing the best in-depth articles, interviews, event listings, whitepapers, infographics and much more.

Contact

CloudTweaks Media
Phone: 1 (212) 763-0021

Join Our Newsletter