IBM zEnterprise Mainframe to Run Windows Apps

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Meeting a timetable announced earlier this year, IBM said today that technology allowing its zEnterprise System users to integrate Windows apps into the mainframe environment will be available Dec. 16. In April IBM had outlined a roadmap for adding Windows support by the end of 2011.

Through a hybrid computing approach made possible with the launch of the zEnterprise System in July 2010, some  IBM System x blades and System x applications can be installed in a zEnterprise mainframe. No changes are required for the application, and integration and management of blades and applications are handled by the zEnterprise Unified Resource Manager, via a single console.

The benefit is that the application servers can be physically and logically close to the data running on the mainframe. IBM said the ability integrate Windows applications in zEnterprise will reduce the cost and complexity of corporate data centers and make it easier to manage workloads spanning mainframe and distributed environments.

“The new heterogeneous virtual IT infrastructure will give us greater flexibility and scalability,” said Huub Meertens, head of the Support Engineering Section at Eurocontrol, the European air traffic management organization in the Netherlands. “On our existing servers, the various applications operate independently on diverse platforms, based upon the one-server-one application model. The combination of IBM System z with Intel servers in an ensemble configuration turns out to be the best solution for modernization of our IT infrastructure.”

The new capability will be available for either of the zEnterprise systems, the z196 or z114.

IBM said it has continued to see mainframe momentum. Since shipping its System zEnterprise 196 in July 2010, Big Blue has added more than 80 new mainframe clients worldwides. China recently announced its selection of System z to build a cloud computing platform for an online portal for a variety of social services.

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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