April 5, 2022 By Ross Mauri 4 min read

Today is a historic day for IBM and our clients. We are announcing IBM® z16™, the next-generation system that will bring real-time AI for transaction processing at scale.

IBM® z16™ will bring the industry’s first integrated on-chip AI accelerator, delivering latency-optimized inferencing designed to enable customers to analyze real-time transactions at scale [1] on critical applications. In an increasingly risky world full of cyber threats, IBM z16 is designed to help protect clients from “harvest now, decrypt later” attacks with the industry’s first quantum-safe system [2]. For more information, please visit the IBM Newsroom.

These incredible innovations would not be possible without the expertise of thousands of IBMers worldwide across IBM Systems and IBM Research, including hardware and software engineering teams, real-world tests and simulations teams and award-winning support and supply chain teams. With IBM z16, IBM used a highly collaborative, client-centered approach that deeply engaged hundreds of individuals from more than 70 clients, a practice that is already underway for future IBM mainframe systems.

Beyond these industry-first innovations, we are excited to introduce new capabilities for clients designed to secure, modernize, automate and transform with data-driven insights across their hybrid cloud estate.

Modernize for hybrid cloud

IBM z16 is a strategic platform for clients, supporting critical business operations and securing highly sensitive data. It is an open, agile platform that integrates into a hybrid cloud environment with industry-leading security, data privacy and latency.

From the unveiling of the IBM Z and Cloud Modernization Center to the announcement of the IBM Z and Cloud Modernization Stack and Wazi as-a-Service, IBM has been committed to helping clients modernize applications and optimize developer productivity, including the creation of an IBM Z Application Modernization practice by IBM Consulting .

Predict and automate with accelerated AI

Today’s economy requires fast and predictive decision-making across business and operations. That’s why we’ve made AI inferencing capabilities available in IBM z16 via the IBM Telum Processor, an industry-first integrated on-chip AI accelerator [3].

To help enterprises reap the benefits of these innovations, we’re also announcing updates to Watson Machine Learning for IBM z/OS, designed to help clients make faster predictive decisions using insights from operational data, including native z/OS applications. This is critical for use cases like fraud detection, where bringing AI inferencing to the transaction before it completes would help businesses analyze for fraud on a massive scale.

Additionally, we’re launching Db2 13 for z/OS, the latest release of IBM’s leading enterprise database. Db2 13 for z/OS includes a new feature — SQL Data Insights — that takes advantage of the IBM Telum Processor and is designed to more quickly and easily identify similarities and clusters in data, while also simplifying the data science process.

In addition to real-time insights for decision velocity, businesses want more intelligent infrastructure. IBM’s suite of AI-powered automation technologies can be used with IBM z16 at scale to help reduce the cost and risk of downtime by identifying potential anomalies across hybrid data sources, better understanding application performance and resolving incidents with mobile through mainframe observability.

A securely designed, cyber-resilient system

It’s clear from every client interaction that security and cyber resiliency are top of mind. That’s why IBM is doing everything possible to help clients protect their data today and prepare for tomorrow. Underpinned by the industry’s first quantum-safe system [4] using quantum-safe cryptography, two new features are being introduced to support our clients’ security and resiliency strategies. The IBM Z Security and Compliance Center, which is generally available on May 27, 2022, and built with IBM Security, provides system collected evidence to be used in an audit report. For certain standards, it compares this data to a known industry standard, such as PCI-DSS [5]. This can speed up audit preparation and help clients simplify their compliance management. Cyber resiliency requires flexibility in response to both business and operational requirements. IBM Z Flexible Capacity for Cyber Resiliency is designed to allow clients to fully automate the swap from participating IBM z16 production systems to backup systems at different sites [6].

Learn more about IBM z16

We are confident that this platform, and future generations, are fully aligned with our clients’ business strategies and will continue to be central to their futures. To learn more about IBM z16 and meet the team behind the platform, including clients, please attend IBM z16 Day, a free virtual conference live today with over 80 speakers within the IBM ecosystem.

For more information about this exciting new system, see the IBM z16 product page.

Statements regarding IBM’s future direction and intent are subject to change or withdrawal without notice and represent goals and objectives only.

[1] Disclaimer: Cited by a third-party analyst.

[2] Disclaimer: IBM z16 with the Crypto Express 8S card provides quantum-safe APIs providing access to quantum-safe algorithms that have been selected as finalists during the PQC standardization process conducted by NIST. Quantum-safe cryptography refers to efforts to identify algorithms that are resistant to attacks by both classical and quantum computers, in order to keep information assets secure even after a large-scale quantum computer has been built. These algorithms are used to help ensure the integrity of a number of the firmware and boot processes. IBM z16 is the industry-first system protected by quantum-safe technology across multiple layers of firmware.

[3] Disclaimer: Cited by a third-party analyst.

[4] Disclaimer: IBM z16 with the Crypto Express 8S card provides quantum-safe APIs, providing access to quantum-safe algorithms that have been selected as finalists during the PQC standardization process conducted by NIST. Quantum-safe cryptography refers to efforts to identify algorithms that are resistant to attacks by both classical and quantum computers, in order to keep information assets secure even after a large-scale quantum computer has been built. These algorithms are used to help ensure the integrity of a number of the firmware and boot processes. IBM z16 is the industry-first system protected by quantum-safe technology across multiple layers of firmware.

[5] Disclaimer: IBM does not ensure regulatory compliance. The intent is to provide a point-in-time statement of your current posture for a specific group of resources. The responsibility of ensuring that systems are configured in accordance with regulatory controls is on the individual businesses who are using the IBM Z Security and Compliance Center, and IBM does not take responsibility for any compliance oversights or penalties associated with data breaches. Select Industry regulations views:

  • PCI DSS -Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard

  • NIST SP800-53 -National Institute of Standards and Technology

[6] Disclaimer: The z16 systems must be installed in different locations, using z/OS Version 2.2 or above. GDPS Version 4.4 is needed for IBM provided automation. Necessary resiliency technology must be enabled, such as System Managed CF Structure Duplexing, Sysplex failure management and Capacity Provisioning Manager. Other configurations may provide different availability characteristics. Clients may optionally use other third-party tools for automation purposes.

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