IBM System z (Mainframe) Buying Guide (Page 2)

Model Specifics Over the last two years, no System z models have been end-of-lifed. However, the z10 EC and z10 BC will be withdrawn from marketing in June 2012. That means they will quietly fade away, although they will continue to be serviced by the company for years to come. That will leave two mainframes the company is stressing – the 114 and the 196. IBM zEnterprise 114 The z114 is aimed at mid-sized and growing businesses running mission-critical workloads, hosting private enterprise clouds or looking for a backup, standalone development machine. The microprocessor has a higher-frequency superscalar design (up to 14 processors running at 3.8 GHz), improved cache structure, an "out of order" execution sequence and over 100 new hardware instructions to deliver high per-thread performance for DB2, WebSphere and Linux workloads. "The z114 offers up to an 18% performance improvement for processing traditional System z workloads over the z10 BC, and up to an additional 25% improvement for microprocessor intensive workloads using compiler enhancements," says Dickson. "Up to ten of its microprocessors can be configured as specialty engines." These specialty engines, the System z Application Assist Processor (zAAP), the System z Integrated Information Processor (zIIP) and the Integrated Facility for Linux (IFL), are designed to integrate Java, XML and Linux applications and technologies with existing workloads, as well as to optimize system resources and reduce costs on the mainframe. For example, using a fully configured machine running Linux for System z, it is possible to create and maintain a Linux virtual server in the z114 at next to no cost ($500 per year, according to Dickson). IBM zEnterprise 196 The z196 is IBM's premier mainframe offering. It is capable of over 50 Billion Instructions per Second (BIPS). The z196 has up to 96 cores running at 5.2 GHz, and delivering up to 40 percent improvement in performance per core and up to 60 percent increase in total capacity compared to its predecessor, the z10 EC. As many as 80 cores are configurable for specialty engines. "The z114 is geared toward mid-sized clients or enterprises with lower capacity, memory and I/O needs while the z196 offers extreme scalability for the most demanding enterprise-class businesses," states Dickson. Drew Robb is a Los Angeles-based freelancer specializing in all aspects of technology, engineering and renewable energy. Born and raised in Scotland, he received a degree in Geology/Geography from the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow. Follow ServerWatch on Twitter and Facebook