z Systems: Accelerating Business Success

In a recent blog, I outlined how I saw the further strides being made by IBM with the launch of the new z13 mainframe. This blog aims to underline why this matters so much to today’s digital world.

Supporting the Digital Age

“The z13 is designed to handle billions of transactions for the mobile economy.  Only the IBM mainframe can put the power of the world’s most secure data centers in the palm of your hand,” said Tom Rosamilia, Senior Vice President, IBM Systems. But why does that matter?

  • Performance: The uptick in performance announced with the new z13 architecture promises yet further improvements in speed and throughput. As the digital age beds down, organizations face unprecedented need to understand their customers better and better by sifting through more and more data, while also providing best-in-class services through a range of devices and interfaces. The mainframe remains the bedrock of that exponential demand on IT horsepower. New levels of performance are more than welcome.
  • Flexibility: But it’s not just about straight-line speed. Organizations face twists and turns in strategy and commercial success. Flexibility may need to be in the form of new data centers, local instances to support local data, new markets and clients served by new platforms, or even a consolidation of disparate server technology into a unifying, cost-efficient backbone. Linux continues to grow as the platform of choice for many organizations looking to offer flexibility and choice. Linux on z Systems offers an ideal combination of flex and scale to meet the shifting sands of organizational change.
  • Reliability: And as the global economy shows signs of turning the corner, accelerating towards success hinges on another thing – brand. Disruption of service, whether it’s a retail web site, a core banking system outage, lost customer data, is a sure fire way of stalling on the starting grid. What IT infrastructure would you trust to keep you off the front pages for the wrong reasons?

Starting from a position of strength

Ground-breaking technical advances from the IBM z Systems stable are nothing new; there is in fact a long history of significant innovation. No wonder independent surveys continue to echo the enduring value associated with the IBM mainframe by the user community.

Recent global surveys commissioned by BMC and Vanson Bourne reinforce the perception of value provided by the mainframe –

61% of all shops expecting MIPS growth in the next two years

  • Global mainframe usage boasts 1.1 million transactions per second or 34 trillion every year. That’s significantly more than all tweets, Facebook ‘likes’ and Google searches carried out over the same period
  • Mainframe application accessibility through mobile is increasing, with 97% of respondents believing it is practical to develop mainframe mobile

Reinforcing this, IDC reported recently that 60% of all “business critical workload” was being run on IBM mainframes.

Clever Mechanics

And it goes almost without saying that Micro Focus is helping tune the engine too. The Mainframe’s oldest friend, COBOL, has also evolved during the five and half decades of its illustrious existence in the IT world. COBOL too meets the needs of the digital age, supporting Cloud-ready, mobile-centric applications through sensible integration and composite application creation and delivery, all on the backbone of z Systems.

Micro Focus commented on the z13 launch: “As a long term IBM partner, Micro Focus has provided innovative enterprise development and test software for the IBM mainframe environment over many years. IBM z13 is the industry leading business execution environment for enterprise application workload where scalability, performance and extensibility are core requirements for successful IT service delivery. Micro Focus is delighted to support the latest generation of IBM mainframe technology innovation, the z13”.

The view is reciprocal. In April 2013, Greg Lotko, former VP and Business Line Executive, IBM, said, “We are continually working with our technology partners to help our clients maximise the value in their IBM mainframes and this latest innovation from Micro Focus is a great example of that commitment.”

Interestingly, around the same time the first IBM mainframes appeared on the market, back in 1964, an automotive manufacturer unveiled a new model at the Frankfurt motor show. The marque was Porsche, and the new model something intriguingly entitled the 911. It stole the show. Since 1964, that model has undergone a series of evolutionary upgrades, and is now faster, more efficient, more secure, easier to handle, but can get you where you need to go, with minimal fuss, as fast as you like, like no other vehicle. Not a single component of the original model has survived; everything has been updated to support the needs of the today’s user, the roads, the safety regulations, emissions targets and suchlike. But, it endures as a brand and is as relevant today as ever. Sound familiar?


Blog post written by Derek Britton from our friends at Micro Focus…

You can follow Derek on Twitter at @DerekBrittonUK