Welcome!

IBM Cloud Authors: Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, APM Blog, Elizabeth White, William Schmarzo

Related Topics: Microservices Expo, IBM Cloud

Microservices Expo: Article

IBM Reinvents the Mainframe

The system will reportedly be announced in New York in mid to late July

So IBM has reinvented the mainframe, apparently reducing the behemoth to a blade.

Sources say it's ported its precious z/OS to a newfangled 5.2GHz quad-core z processor with two times the cache of the old z10 chip and a hundred new instructions, built a new z196 system round it, stuck it in a chassis, otherwise called a cage, added a BladeCenter Extension - Power7 blades that'll run AIX and x86 blades running Linux - thrown in a Unified Resource Manager and has the whole lot sharing memory and disk space.

It has, they say, achieved its fondly held dream of a converged architecture. And this, as they also say, is a very big deal.

If it wasn't for all that trouble with the regulators, one might conjecture that IBM's trying to make mainframe iron relevant to a new generation of IT people. It's clearly chasing new customers, new workloads and the cloud.

IBM has been briefing its nearest and dearest followers for days under NDA about every conceivable nuance of the box called - for the moment at least -either the zNext System or the zEnterprise System and it has a clutch of the things out with large accounts.

The system will reportedly be announced in New York in mid to late July (July 22's looking likely) with so-called pre-ships going out immediately and launch in volume this fall, probably in September.

It's supposed to cost a third less than what IBM usually charges for mainframes but the pricing picture is probably more complicated than that.

The whispers say zNext will run all the z/OS widgetry back to goodness knows when and OS/400 on Power7 blades by the end of the year. Throw in AIX, Linux and maybe Windows and that's why it's also called a "system of systems."

It brings to mind the Platform Solutions (PSI) box that IBM bought so it could yank it off the market. The PSI machine ran Windows, Linux, Unix, Open VMS and z/OS on Itanium chips way cheaper than IBM could on its mainframes. That's why IBM smothered the thing in its cradle.

Now Blue has IBM-ized the concept and gone PSI one better. In zNext, which appears to involve single-function appliances too, the environments are integrated. The multi-OS resources are supposed to function as a single, logical, virtualized system.

Applications run on the zExtensions will bask in the reflected glow of the mainframe's qualities of service.

Likely to be advertised as a great leap in virtualization, IBM will play it as ideal cloud infrastructure.

Reportedly the shared virtualization IBM is using is Red Hat's very own KVM.

The Duquesne Group thinks this "consolidation of platform under the zSeries roof" puts IBM squarely on the road to a "data center in a box" managed by a new species of hypervisor or "control hyperprocessor."

Among other things, the widgetry may distract customers toying with using Neon's zPrime software to lower their workload bills. At a guess it looks like virtual servers could ultimately replace the ZiiP and ZaaP specialty processors Neon is currently exploiting in a threat to IBM's revenue stream.

Reading off an IBM PowerPoint, zNext or zFuture is supposed to "reduce cost, reduce risk and improve service," and be positioned as being easier on power consumption, utilization, resource management, communication, RAS and of course elasticity.

IBM is reportedly throwing all its software into the mix. Users should prepare for a deluge.

All this automation is going to cost jobs but of course IT companies never say it that way. IBM's got all sorts of "value" statistics.

The modernization move will reportedly change the outsourcing equation.

It will also put companies like CA and BMC that have always depended on the old mainframe for much of their revenues in a pretty pickle. Sources say the zNext or whatever IBM ultimately deems to call it won't need their scheduling, security, disk management and systems management software.

Maybe that's why CA, for one, has realigned into two new organizations: a Customer Solutions Group and a Technology and Development Group. The Customer Solutions Group, headed by newly recruited ex-Corel CEO David Dobson, includes five customer solutions units, each a strategic business unit responsible for its own P&L. The self-explanatory Technology and Development Group will be headed Ajei Gopal. If IBM gossip is right Dobson used to be CA CEO Bill McCracken's boss back in their Blue days.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and ...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Carl J. Levine, Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1, will objectively discuss how DNS is used to solve Digital Transformation challenges in large SaaS applications, CDNs, AdTech platforms, and other demanding use cases. Carl J. Levine is the Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1. A veteran of the Internet Infrastructure space, he has over a decade of experience with startups, networking protocols and Internet infrastructure, combined with the unique ability to it...
It is of utmost importance for the future success of WebRTC to ensure that interoperability is operational between web browsers and any WebRTC-compliant client. To be guaranteed as operational and effective, interoperability must be tested extensively by establishing WebRTC data and media connections between different web browsers running on different devices and operating systems. In his session at WebRTC Summit at @ThingsExpo, Dr. Alex Gouaillard, CEO and Founder of CoSMo Software, presented ...
Gemini is Yahoo’s native and search advertising platform. To ensure the quality of a complex distributed system that spans multiple products and components and across various desktop websites and mobile app and web experiences – both Yahoo owned and operated and third-party syndication (supply), with complex interaction with more than a billion users and numerous advertisers globally (demand) – it becomes imperative to automate a set of end-to-end tests 24x7 to detect bugs and regression. In th...
"Space Monkey by Vivent Smart Home is a product that is a distributed cloud-based edge storage network. Vivent Smart Home, our parent company, is a smart home provider that places a lot of hard drives across homes in North America," explained JT Olds, Director of Engineering, and Brandon Crowfeather, Product Manager, at Vivint Smart Home, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"Cloud Academy is an enterprise training platform for the cloud, specifically public clouds. We offer guided learning experiences on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and all the surrounding methodologies and technologies that you need to know and your teams need to know in order to leverage the full benefits of the cloud," explained Alex Brower, VP of Marketing at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clar...
"MobiDev is a software development company and we do complex, custom software development for everybody from entrepreneurs to large enterprises," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CrowdReviews.com has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5–7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CrowdReviews.com is a transparent online platform for determining which products and services are the best based on the opinion of the crowd. The crowd consists of Internet users that have experienced products and services first-hand and have an interest in letting other potential buye...
"There's plenty of bandwidth out there but it's never in the right place. So what Cedexis does is uses data to work out the best pathways to get data from the origin to the person who wants to get it," explained Simon Jones, Evangelist and Head of Marketing at Cedexis, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventi...
WebRTC is great technology to build your own communication tools. It will be even more exciting experience it with advanced devices, such as a 360 Camera, 360 microphone, and a depth sensor camera. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Masashi Ganeko, a manager at INFOCOM Corporation, introduced two experimental projects from his team and what they learned from them. "Shotoku Tamago" uses the robot audition software HARK to track speakers in 360 video of a remote party. "Virtual Teleport" uses a multip...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Telecom Reseller has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Telecom Reseller reports on Unified Communications, UCaaS, BPaaS for enterprise and SMBs. They report extensively on both customer premises based solutions such as IP-PBX as well as cloud based and hosted platforms.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Evatronix will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Evatronix SA offers comprehensive solutions in the design and implementation of electronic systems, in CAD / CAM deployment, and also is a designer and manufacturer of advanced 3D scanners for professional applications.
Leading companies, from the Global Fortune 500 to the smallest companies, are adopting hybrid cloud as the path to business advantage. Hybrid cloud depends on cloud services and on-premises infrastructure working in unison. Successful implementations require new levels of data mobility, enabled by an automated and seamless flow across on-premises and cloud resources. In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Tevis, an IBM Storage Software Technical Strategist and Customer Solution Architec...
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices to ...
An increasing number of companies are creating products that combine data with analytical capabilities. Running interactive queries on Big Data requires complex architectures to store and query data effectively, typically involving data streams, an choosing efficient file format/database and multiple independent systems that are tied together through custom-engineered pipelines. In his session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Tomer Levi, a senior software engineer at Intel’s Advanced Analytics gr...
When talking IoT we often focus on the devices, the sensors, the hardware itself. The new smart appliances, the new smart or self-driving cars (which are amalgamations of many ‘things’). When we are looking at the world of IoT, we should take a step back, look at the big picture. What value are these devices providing? IoT is not about the devices, it’s about the data consumed and generated. The devices are tools, mechanisms, conduits. In his session at Internet of Things at Cloud Expo | DXWor...
Everything run by electricity will eventually be connected to the Internet. Get ahead of the Internet of Things revolution. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Akvelon expert and IoT industry leader Sergey Grebnov provided an educational dive into the world of managing your home, workplace and all the devices they contain with the power of machine-based AI and intelligent Bot services for a completely streamlined experience.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Synametrics Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Synametrics Technologies is a privately held company based in Plainsboro, New Jersey that has been providing solutions for the developer community since 1997. Based on the success of its initial product offerings such as WinSQL, Xeams, SynaMan and Syncrify, Synametrics continues to create and hone inn...