IBM has unveiled new products and services based around its System z mainframe line, designed to ensure the platform remains relevant in the era of cloud computing and mobile devices.
At an event to mark the 50th anniversary of IBM's historic System/360 mainframe family, the firm announced the IBM Enterprise Cloud System, designed to enable service providers and organisations to build cloud infrastructure that offers greater reliability and security.
IBM also announced the System z Solution for Mobile Computing, and a partnership with big data specialist Veristorm on zDoop software, the first commercial Hadoop available for Linux on System z.
The new IBM Enterprise Cloud System provides an integrated platform for both clients and service providers seeking to build out a cloud environment capable of supporting mission-critical workloads, the firm said.
Combining System z hardware with IBM storage and cloud-management software, the Enterprise Cloud System is factory built and configured with cloud orchestration and monitoring to allow operators to rapidly deploy enterprise-grade cloud services, with support for multi-tenant environments if required.
With the ability to support up to 6,000 virtual machine instances in a single system, IBM claims the total cost of Linux in such a deployment can be up to 55 percent less than comparable cloud infrastructure based on x86 commodity servers.
In a bid to attract service providers, IBM has introduced a new pricing model called Managed Service Provider (MSP) Utility Pricing for System z. This enables service providers to operate an Enterprise Cloud System and pay IBM based on usage, similar to pricing models it has long offered for enterprise customers.
Meanwhile, IBM also announced a new pricing model for transactions on z/OS as part of its System z Solution for Mobile Computing. This is designed to address the growth many customers are seeing in the volume of mobile transactions, pushing up their costs for supporting mobile applications, the firm said. To this end, the new pricing model delivers a 60 percent reduction on the processor capacity reported for mobile transactions.
Having Hadoop on the mainframe avoids the need to move data from the System z to a dedicated Hadoop cluster to perform analytics, according to IBM. With zDoop, customers can have a scalable private cloud for big data without an additional footprint or deployment delays by operating it on the mainframe's scalable, on-demand processing capacity.
Daniel Robinson is technology editor at V3, and has been working as a technology journalist for over two decades. Dan has served on a number of publications including PC Direct and enterprise news publication IT Week. Areas of coverage include desktops, laptops, smartphones, enterprise mobility, storage, networks, servers, microprocessors, virtualisation and cloud computing.