Is There Anything It Can’t Do?

IBM zEnterprise runs your business—any system, any application

IBM recently announced the IBM zEnterprise® computer, and it was great to see the mainframe take another giant leap. In my opinion, the zEnterprise is far ahead of any other configuration available, providing more flexibility and capabilities. The new zEnterprise runs mainframe workloads and—with the newly integrated IBM POWER7® and IBM System x blade environments—can run any of the Linux, UNIX, and Windows (LUW) systems, allowing the consolidation of diverse application workloads. The IDUG community in particular will appreciate these capabilities, as they provide the opportunity to improve data integration and decrease data latency between platforms. The zEnterprise can serve as a central location for all administration and performance management of different types of enterprise data or applications.

Just as many organizations have consolidated UNIX systems into the mainframe environment, now they can use the zEnterprise—with the integration of blade environments and the new z/VM 6.1 virtualization hypervisor—to consolidate myriad Windows or x86-based systems. According to IBM, the new capabilities support 100,000 virtual images, providing plenty of room to deliver the mainframe’s reliability, availability, and security to other platforms that must receive regular security patches or that struggle with inadequate management-support tools. These consolidation capabilities can help lower overall computing and energy costs. The architecture also helps reduce data copies and remote islands of data by putting it on this central hub within your company, helping to eliminate duplicate data-backup and disaster-recovery planning and procedures.

The zEnterprise system is built for performance and security. It has 96 processors running at 5.2 GHz, optimization facilities for better overall availability, and EAL5 security certification. The new z/OS 1.12 operating system for the zEnterprise also helps improve existing application performance, and more instructions are burned into the chips for faster execution. According to IBM tests, WebSphere and other Java workload performance can be improved by 66–88 percent by fully exploiting the more than 70 new Java hardware instructions. In addition, C++, COBOL, and PL/I have another 73 instructions burned directly into the hardware to boost performance. Simply moving applications to the integrated zEnterprise platform should result in performance improvements.

So the zEnterprise is the future because it runs any application or system regardless of the code base, operating system, or platform. What is also very interesting is that IBM has decided to sell a small, preconfigured, prepackaged version for less than USD1 million. These smaller systems provide a great, low-cost advantage over other distributed platforms. The zEnterprise can quickly deliver return on investment (ROI), making it a strong competitor against other hardware platforms and database environments. Companies can also build their own private cloud-computing environment with a time-tested and reliable zEnterprise system to run it all.

More information will be coming out at the next IDUG conferences: IDUG EMEA (November 8–12, 2010; Vienna, Austria), and the IDUG North America conference (May 2–6, 2011; Anaheim, California). And don’t forget to check out and see all the great DB2 regional conferences coming to a city near you.