Roundup: IBM’s new zEnterprise Mainframe

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IBM employees James Geuke (top) and Larry Terpak (standing) install covers on the new IBM zEnterprise System mainframe. (Photo: Feature Photo Service for IBM)

Today IBM officially unveiled its zEnterprise mainframe server and a new systems design that allows workloads on mainframe, POWER7 and System x servers to share resources and be managed as a single, virtualized system. The launch was widely discussed on the web, so we’ve put together a roundup of some of the relevant commentary and analysis:

  • IBM Unveils Z Series, a New Generation of Mainframes – With the introduction of a new generation of mainframes, IBM is trying to tighten its grip on corporate and government data centers. The most significant change, analysts say, is that other kinds of computers can now be plugged into the mainframe to manage a data center almost as if it were a single computer. The new machines, some customers say, are the most significant change in mainframe design in a decade or more. From the New York Times.
  • IBM Launches Massive New Mainframe Systems – IBM has attempted data-center-wide management before, but not at this level. The software used to manage the systems is called Unified Resource Manager, which can manage more than 100,000 virtualized servers across the mainframe, System p and System x. From ServerWatch.
  • IBM’s new mainframe, the zEnterprise 196, is a leviathan – Every new IBM mainframe says something about the times we live in, and today’s latest mainframe release is no different. The zEnterprise system, as it is now called, has become a cross-platform management system, a sovereign of other systems. From Patrick Thibodeau at ComputerWorld.
  • IBM unveils hybrid mainframe, eyes data center consolidation – What’s the hubbub about? IBM is looking to bridge enterprises that run on mainframes with other industry standard servers. While hardware vendors take shots at each other, the reality is that most data centers have multiple hardware components. The key is to integrate those components, cut down on sprawl and save on energy. From Larry Dignan at ZDNet.
  • IBM delivers meanest mainframe – the new hardware platform represents the culmination of a $1.5bn research and development project, which is part of a wider $5bn five year programme involving close collaboration across IBM’s software and hardware divisions. From ComputerWeekly.
  • IBM’s New Mainframes Take On Dell, HP – The days when IBM’s mainframe computers held a monopoly on enterprise computing may have ended with the influx of cheaper x86 and Unix servers. But Big Blue is still reinventing its big iron. And now it’s teaching it how to play nicely with those more modern platforms. From Forbes.com
  • Another Mainframe, Another Debate Over Mainframes – IBM is out with a new mainframe this week, which naturally led to claims that it is either the greatest thing since sliced bread or the final death gasp of a technology giving way to commodity systems. From IT Business Edge.

About the Author

Rich Miller is the founder and editor-in-chief of Data Center Knowledge, and has been reporting on the data center sector since 2000. He has tracked the growing impact of high-density computing on the power and cooling of data centers, and the resulting push for improved energy efficiency in these facilities.

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