ServersBig Iron Rocks On

Big Iron Rocks On

ServerWatch content and product recommendations are editorially independent. We may make money when you click on links to our partners. Learn More.

NEW YORK — You didn’t really think IBM would let the mainframe go away, did you?

IBM touts System z machines and virtualization as one alternative to server farms.

Discuss this article in the ServerWatch discussion forum

The company today improved its mainframe-oriented software to boost performance and security, and it created an online meeting place for collaboration. The news, announced at the IBM System z Summit meeting here, represents the next leg of the systems vendor’s five-year, $100 million mainframe push.

“The mainframe has crossed lines,” said IBM Software Senior Vice President
Steve Mills at the event. “When you think back decades, these things were
incredibly expensive. Now, they’re relatively inexpensive. For the amount of
work that you can get done, they’re extraordinarily cheap.”

For example, Mills said, labor and power costs associated with running a single server has exceeded the cost of the server itself. When you consider that so-called server farms have hundreds to thousands of machines that need
to be managed, the proposition of narrowing the management and power footprint to one or a handful of mainframes becomes more attractive.

Reducing the number of physical machines means less power consumption and other costs associated with data centers that may have large farms of servers running one application.

“Should I be running 15,000, 20,000, 30,000 unique server images in my large
business, or can I distill that down to a much smaller number of images,
dramatically reduce labor costs, bring the work together, save space, save
power and realize a lower cost of ownership and executing that work?”

To support this approach, IBM boosted the System z’s z/VM virtualization
software, which allows admins to run multiple operating systems on one
physical machine to support 10 times more virtualized memory and up to 256
gigabytes of memory. The extra memory allows admins to employ more virtual
machines as replacements for smaller, physical servers.

The revamped Tivoli zSecure V1.8.1 suite employs technology from its Consul purchase, which automatically monitors threats, audits usage and configurations and enforces policy compliance on mainframes.

The idea is to eliminate manual administration and audit processes so IT
admins can focus on other tasks, as well as to meet compliance regulations are well met.

IBM today also unveiled Destination z, a Web site
intended to inspire collaboration among customers, IBM business partners and software vendors.

Resources on the site include access development tools, technical guidance
and links to total cost of ownership tools and case histories that reveal
benefits of using mainframes for computing. Over 20 IBM business partners
and systems integrators have joined IBM Destination z.

To help move businesses’ distributed servers onto one System z machine, Big
Blue today introduced IT Value Based Analytics (ITVBA), which pairs IBM’s
Global Business Services methodology with Tivoli Usage Accounting Manager
and Tivoli decision-support tools to help managers align IT costs to
business services.

IBM today also announced IBM Implementation Services for Parallel Sysplex, a
new product designed to help clients implement a clustered mainframe

The z Summit shows that IBM refuses to let its message around Big Iron fade.

This article was originally published on

Get the Free Newsletter!

Subscribe to Daily Tech Insider for top news, trends & analysis

Latest Posts

Related Stories