IBM Launches zEnterprise Mainframe With Cost Savings In Mind

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IBM has revamped its System z line of mainframes with a new system called zEnterprise, which should significantly reduce the computing cost for enterprise-class companies, according to IBM executives at a press and analyst briefing in New York Thursday.

“This is the most powerful announcement we have ever made in terms of customer economics. “We’ve never done anything to put more money back in the hands of customers to solve business problems and bring down the cost of computing.,” said Steve Mills, IBM’s senior vice president and group executive, Systems and Software. “We will not stop making Intel-based servers, Power-based servers but this puts it all in on place where you can see it, cost it, deal with it.”

The zEnterprise products can create up to 100,000 virtual machines and run a multidue of platforms including zOS, Linux and more, Mills said. The machine utilizes a 5.2 Ghz processor, which Mills dubbed the industry’s fastest, and up to 3 TB of memory.

“It can run Intel or RISC, Unix-type workloads. Whether you’re using mainframe systems for traditional workloads or embracing Linux on a mainframe, there is great value in this system,” Mills said.

The new system comes company amid a reorganization within IBM and a new focus on integrating hardware and software.

This was IBM’s biggest hardware announcement in recent memory, but it wasn’t the speeds and feeds that IBM said should make zEnterprise a differentiator in this market, in this economy. Companies can expect to save millions of dollars in storage, power and computing costs over a three-year period utilizing the new system, said Mills.

“This system is now highly adaptive to sophisticated analytics, diverse workloads brought forward by packaged application vendors. And it’s highly adaptive to Web collaboration type environments,” Mills said. “We did this to not just address issues of flexibility, but issues of cost. Businesses are in tremendous cost pressure. No product in the industry is subject to more debate about costs than mainframes.”

Mills said mainframes have been unfairly stereotyped as being bloated and expensive machines, when in truth they can save a customer money in the right environment, he said. “If we all wanted to go from New York to California, you’d get there more economically and safely in a plane than if we all rented cards and drove across the country,” he said.

IBM detailed an example of a data center that deploys 10,000 workloads on virtualized servers, including 7,000 light workloads, 500 heavy workloads and 2,500 heavy I/O workloads on a zEnterprise system, an infrastructure that would require 1,603 Intel servers to replicate.

The cost of acquisition over three years for those Intel servers over three years would be $314 million, while a zEnterprise solution, running 21 frames and 445 blades would be $138 million over the same period, 56 percent less.

The cost of networking equipment to run the Intel- and zEnterprise solutions would be $3.8 million and $197,000, respectively. Energy consumption on a zEnterprise system would cause $1.1 million, 80 percent less than the $5.6 million necessary to power the Intel system, Mills said.


Next: The Custom View of zEnterprise

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