IBM Launches New Entry-Level Mainframe

Darryl K. Taft covers IBM, big data and a number of other topics for TechWeekEurope and eWeek

IBM touts the zEnterprise BC12 as being a cost-efficient mainframe system for the masses

IBM has launched a new entry-level mainframe system, dubbed the zEnterprise BC12 (zBC12).

The new mainframe builds on IBM’s decades of experience in enterprise computing and is designed for the latest in analytics, cloud, and mobile computing.

Cheap Mainframe

Moreover, starting at $75,000 ($48,828), IBM is making one of the most secure and technologically advanced enterprise servers attractive to organisations of all sizes.

IBM zEnterprise System Mainframe: First Production from a New Fa“Analytics, cloud and mobile computing are changing the way businesses in all industries engage with their customers,” said Patrick Toole, general manager of IBM System z, in a statement. “IBM’s zEnterprise technologies address these challenges by providing clients with a powerful and highly secure platform to manage new and emerging workloads, helping speed time to market, reduce costs and stimulate business growth by making stronger connections with customers.”

In addition to the new mainframe hardware, IBM also announced new industry solutions and enhanced software and operating systems across its zEnterprise portfolio to help clients better serve their customers. These solutions are designed to enable banks to deliver new mobile banking services, insurance companies to prevent payment of fraudulent claims, and government agencies to interact and serve citizens using new applications in the cloud, IBM said.

The new software for analytics includes updates to Cognos, SPSS, and DB2. New cloud and mobile offerings include updates for better integration and security in Tivoli, CICS and DB2.

Big Blue officials said compared with its predecessor, the z114, the new zBC12 features a faster processor at 4.2GHz and two times the available memory – and it allows clients to grow into their system with a pay-as-you-grow approach.

When integrated with IBM DB2 Analytics Accelerator, the zBC12 can perform business analytics workloads with response times up to nine times faster, 10 times better price performance and 14 percent lower total cost of acquisition than the closest competitor, IBM claimed citing a customer study.

Flexible Solution

For cloud computing, the zBC12 can consolidate up to 40 virtual servers per core or up to 520 in a single footprint for as low as $1 (£0.65) per day per virtual server. A single zBC12 can save clients up to 55 percent over x86 distributed environments, IBM said.

Meanwhile, new hardware functions provide CPU and storage savings by compressing data on the server. For example, there is a new high speed, low latency I/O connection for enabling up to an 80 percent reduction in network latency.

Also, with z/OS 2.1, IBM delivers performance and scale, as well as simplified management with z/OSMF.

There is also a new 2-to-1 ratio for IBM System z Integrated Information Processor (zIIP) and zSeries Application Assist Processor (zAAP) special purpose engines for improved workload economics. And with z/VM 6.3, clients can now consolidate up to 520 virtual servers in a single footprint with the increase in real memory and the new HiperDispatch function.