Mainframes have been around since the 1940s, yet they continue to evolve and consume a sizeable chunk of the server landscape -- in terms of revenue share, at least. And IBM makes up the vast majority of mainframe sales via its System z product line.
System z consists of several models. The zEnterprise 114 is a midrange platform for integrated, centrally managed workload deployment. It includes a wealth of features, such as specialty engines, blades and optimizers: Integrated Facility for Linux (IFL), System z Application Assist Processor (zAAP), System z Integrated Information Process (zIIP), IBM BladeCenter PS701 Express POWER7 blade, IBM BladeCenter HX5 blade, IBM Smart Analytics Optimizer for DB2 for z/OS V1.1 and WebSphere DataPower Integration Appliance XI50 for zEnterprise. Its hybrid architecture enables integration and centralized management of mainframe, Power7, and IBM System x technologies and workloads in a single system.
The zEnterprise 196 is touted as the world's fastest and most scalable enterprise platform. Like the z 114, it comes with multiple specialty engines. Also like its little brother, it comes with enhanced security (courtesy of Elliptic Curve Cryptography Digital Signatures), DES, AES (192 and 256), SHA-512, PRNG and tamper-resistant configurable Crypto Express3. It is also PR/SM EAL5 certified and can muster up to 3 TB of memory.
Two more machines should be noted. The midrange z10 Business Class is a new member of the IBM System z class. On top of specialty and security features, it delivers strong virtualization and consolidation capabilities. In addition, the z10 Enterprise Class is said to improve provisioning speed, data center security and resiliency. It is also highly scalable and can accommodate large-scale consolidation projects.