IBM has updated its System z mainframe line with a new hardware architecture delivering closer integration with Power 7 and System X servers.
This configuration can be managed as a single entity, making workloads better able to share resources between the mainframe core and the discrete servers, according to IBM.
Set to ship later this quarter, the zEnterprise 196 is claimed by IBM as the fastest enterprise server in the world, with 96 processors operating at 5.2GHz delivering over 50 billion instructions per second.
Compared with its z10 predecessor, zEnterprise offers a greater than 90 per cent increase in performance when running IBM's Websphere software, and a 60 per cent boost in zLinux performance, the firm said.
However, IBM's pitch to customers is that the new system can simplify the management of mission-critical infrastructures by bringing workloads on Power 7 or System X servers under the control of the mainframe, extending its governance capabilities to these platforms as well.
"We've noticed that many of our systems are used in collaboration with other systems. For example, we have over 600 SAP clients that are typically running the application on AIX servers, connected to a back-end database running on z/OS," said Tom Rosamilia, general manager for IBM's System z business.
A common request among such customers has been to somehow make the entire environment run like z/OS, with similar management and provisioning capabilities, he added.
For this reason, the zEnterprise can be combined with a BladeCenter Extension that will accept Power 7 blades at launch, with support for select x86-based System X blades running Linux coming next year.
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