IBM has announced the zEnterprise mainframe server and a new systems design that allows workloads on mainframe, POWER7 and System x servers to share resources and be managed as a single, virtualized system. The new mainframe is also the most powerful and energy-efficient mainframe ever built by the company.
The new systems design combines IBM's new zEnterprise mainframe server with new technology, the IBM zEnterprise BladeCenter Extension and the IBM zEnterprise Unified Resource Manager, that enable it to manage workloads running across System z, and select POWER7 and System x servers.
The new technology is the result of an investment of more than US$1.5 billion in IBM research and development as well as more than three years of collaboration with some of IBM's top clients around the world.
As a result, customers can integrate the management of zEnterprise System resources as a single system and extend mainframe qualities, such as governance and manageability, to workloads running on select IBM POWER7 and System x blade servers. With the ability to manage workloads across systems as one, the zEnterprise System can drive up to 40% lower acquisition costs and reduce cost of ownership by 55%.
"The new IBM zEnterprise System represents a bold move to fundamentally change how data centers are managed," said Tom Rosamilia, General Manager, IBM Power and z Systems. "The new mainframe is the fastest enterprise server in the world and represents a giant leap forward in performance. This new dimension in enterprise computing-- extending mainframe governance to POWER7 and System x blades integrated into the zEnterprise System architecture--was developed over the past three years with direct involvement from a team of IBM's 30 top customers, which provided direct input at every stage of the development process."
The IBM zEnterprise BladeCenter Extension supports purpose IBM POWER7 and System x BladeCenter systems as well as blades optimized for specific workloads, such as analytics and managing Web infrastructure.
IBM blade servers inside the IBM zEnterprise BladeCenter Extension can be managed like mainframe resources. They can integrate with System z and run tens of thousands of off-the-shelf applications.
Later this year, IBM will deliver the zEnterprise BladeCenter Extension with support for IBM POWER7 blades running AIX, IBM's UNIX operating system. IBM is also introducing the IBM Smart Analytics Optimizer to accelerate the performance of complex analytic workloads at a lower cost per transaction.
Next year, IBM plans to announce additional general purpose blades for the IBM zEnterprise BladeCenter Extension including select IBM System x-based blades running Linux. Additional workload optimized blades are planned to include IBM DataPower for improving website and network performance.
From a performance standpoint, the zEnterprise System is the most powerful IBM system ever. The core server in the zEnterprise System is called zEnterprise 196 and contains 96 of the world's fastest, most powerful microprocessors running at 5.2Ghz, capable of executing more than 50 billion instructions per second.
The company says this new IBM microprocessor technology has new software to optimize performance of data-heavy workloads, including up to a 60% improvement in data intensive and Java workloads. Increased levels of system performance in turn increases software performance, which can reduce software license costs.
The new system offers 60% more capacity than its predecessor, the System z10, and uses about the same amount of electricity. For clients selecting Linux on System z, a single virtualized server can be created and deployed for less than US$1 per day. It costs 74% less to run comparative Oracle workloads on the zEnterprise 196 compared to x86 systems.
Energy efficiencies were achieved through advances in microprocessor design, 45nm silicon technology, more efficient power conversion and distribution, as well as advanced sensors and cooling control firmware that monitors and makes adjustments based on environmental factors such as temperature and humidity levels and even air density.