Hitachi Data Systems has launched a Cmos-based S/390 mainframe which uses the company's Virtual Server Facility (VSF) to reduce software licencing fees.
VSF is a form of hardware partitioning that allows users to split their systems and run different applications on different processors. The user can then be charged according to the number of processors used per application, rather than on the system's overall capacity.
Third party software suppliers Computer Associates, Candle, BMC and ISM have all said they will support VSF.
"This could significantly reduce users' costs," said Barry Graham, independent analyst for Xephon. "Our estimates are that VSF can reduce users' software costs by between 13 per cent and 26 per cent."
IBM refuses to support hardware partitioning, claiming it can increase the overall capacity of the system, upon which it still bases some of its software prices.
The HDS machine, the Pilot 9, is available with up to 13 processors, giving it a total system performance of 1,685Mips, ahead of rival IBM's G6 mainframe, which is only available with up to 12 processors at 1,614Mips. Chris Douglas, systems manager for HDS Europe, denied the extra processor is a gimmick to outdo IBM.
"The extra capacity could give a user up to six months' breathing space before they need to upgrade," he said.
The P9 will be the last HDS mainframe to be based on IBM's Cmos technology. Douglas said HDS has already developed its own Cmos chips which will power its next generation of mainframes.
For more stories see this week's issue of Computing
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