IBM’s z13s Is A Security-Focused Hybrid Cloud Mainframe Monster


IBM wheels out mainframe targeted at mid-sized orgs who want speed and security

One division of ‘15-consecutive-quarters-of-decline’ IBM is actually doing relatively fine, and that’s its mainframe business.

Big Blue posted a 16 percent sales increase of its mainframes during its last earnings announcement, and today the company adds another product to its mainframe portfolio – one targeted at the mid-market that’s specifically designed for hybrid cloud.


The IBM z13s, based off the same architecture as the z13, claims to give the same security and performance as its older siblings to mid-sized organisations who are after a reasonably priced and sized foundation for a hybrid cloud infrastructure.

IBMBefore the z13s, which will be shipping in March, IBM said that mid-market businesses had to choose between security and performance. Not anymore, IBM wants its customers to think, as the z13s brings both.

“This speed of secure transactions, coupled with new analytics technology helping to detect malicious activity and integrated IBM Security offerings, will help mid-sized clients grow their organization with peace of mind,” said Tom Rosamilia, senior vice president, IBM Systems.

Of course, IBM has been making mainframes for decades, but with competitors like Dell and HPE encroaching on its market share, IBM has to differentiate its offerings somehow – especially when it comes to providing decent security for the era of cloud now that mainframes are connected to the outside world.

To address this, IBM is integrating the mainframe with IBM Security solutions that address privileged identity management, sensitive data protection and integrated security intelligence.

“z Systems can encrypt sensitive data without compromising transactional throughput and response time, eliminating what has traditionally been a barrier for IT departments in implementing encryption,” said IBM.

“The z13s includes an updated cryptographic and tamper-resistant hardware-accelerated cryptographic coprocessor cards with faster processors and more memory, providing encryption at twice the speed as previous mid-range systems. This means clients can process twice as many high-volume, cryptographically-protected transactions as before without compromising performance. This equates to processing twice as many online or mobile device purchases in the same time helping to lower the cost per transaction.”

The company further added three new partners to its IBM Security Intelligence programme – BlackRidge Technology, Raytheon and Vista Equity Partners’ Forcepoint, and RSM Partners.


The announcement comes just a week ahead of IBM’s InterConnect cloud shindig in Las Vegas. Pricing has not yet been announced, but expect a swathe of case studies and applications for the z13s to be discussed at the conference, where TechWeekEurope will be in attendance.

Take our 2016 cloud quiz here