Yesterday we announced the IBM z15, the 15thgeneration of the modern mainframe. Having attended the launch yesterday and been in the heart of the action for the last year with the teams developing the new capabilities it was an exciting day!  In this blog I want to share my thoughts on the announcement, the key areas that caught my attention and should yours and finally the impact for clients as they look to adopt this transformational technology.

I have been involved in few of these announcements over the years and this one is particularly exciting for me because we are talking less about the server itself but more about how the technology fits within the context of business in a hybrid multi-cloud world.  As I chat to clients, I increasingly see them accepting that cloud is both on and off-premises and that commodity hyper-scale providers are not the low cost and flexible nirvana, they were perceived to be 5-years ago.  In short, all this talk of a hybrid multi-cloud world is real. Clients are working to build private on-premises cloud architectures that operate like their commodity cloud providers. This trend is great news for IBM Z!

Cloud– As our clients enter Chapter 2 of their cloud journey and move beyond easy to migrate and commodity services, such as email and CRM, they are realizing that mission-critical, heavily regulated, security-focused workloads require different compute architectures to provide both the security and availability demanded by the line of business requirements.  The IBM z15 delivers on these requirements. It is a powerhouse for the very workloads that are at the heart of Chapter 2 of our client’s journey to a hybrid multi-cloud model!

With the recent Statement of Direction for OpenShift support on IBM Z we are truly embarking on a journey where mission-critical cloud computing is an achievable reality for clients.  Clients have long requested the flexibility of containers and Kubernetes, but have also needed security, availability, and performance for their most mission-critical workloads.  Clients we faced with an either/or choice until today.  Now clients can get “both/and”. Both Security and Flexibility, Both Performance and Availability, Both Scale and Ease of Operation.

Security– The most foundational element of any IT landscape is security and establishing the trust of clients. As digital transformation radically changes the client interface and the way services are delivered, trust and security will increasingly become a competitive advantage.  Without foundational security, organizations will lose the trust of their clients and ultimately their business and brand will suffer.  The new IBM z15 is the world’s most securable server.  With everything from the highest accredited Hardware Security Model through to on-chip compression and higher-level technology such as Secure Service Containers, z15 delivers on the needs of the most security-conscious workloads. As part of this announcement, you will hear a lot about Data Privacy Passports, this unique and game-changing technology should radically transform how data is secured and handled within enterprises.   Data Privacy Passports extends Pervasive Encryption from IBMZ only, to almost anywhere, delivering on the catch marketing tag line “Encryption Everywhere”. IBM Z data is moved or copied (hybrid and multi-cloud)with capabilities to encrypt, mask, and revoke access to access as the business and regulations require.

Availability– The z15 is the first server to claim seven 9’s of availability!!  When the commodity public cloud providers typically offer three 9’s, or a service designed to deliver 8.77 hours of downtime annually, and other servers claim five 9’s or, 5.26 minutes of annual downtime, z15 is a game-changer. Clients demand more, their workloads need more, their clients expect more. IBM z15  goes further with System Recovery Boost, which can put all CPU resources available on the server to the task of Instant Recovery for planned and unplanned outages.  .  With foundational technologies such as GDPS, Parallel Sysplex and now System Recovery Boost, the IBM z15 is indeed a platform that stands above all others in resilience.

Compression–And for those that like to talk infrastructure, we are introducing Pervasive Compression, which will allow clients to compress all their data.  That might sound boring techie jargon, but compression means savings in Disk, Network, and CPU (by up to 13%).  IBM z15 is a system indeed designed to be the premier data server with ultimate efficiency, resilience, and security.

Conclusion– As a very proud IBMer still basking in the warm glow of ‘new mainframe day’ I  feel the next few months will be exciting times for Z clients as they adopt this technology and the first few references roll in.  As a reader of Mainframe Debate for the first time, or as a regular reader take a moment to read more about z15 here. These announcements barely fit into a sensibly sized blog, and I didn’t even cover the new LinuxONE III that was also launched yesterday.  So you will have to check back for that next week!