The confluence of cloud, mainframe and flash

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IBM mainframes were doing cloud long before cloud was cool.

Since 1964, forward-thinking organizations have leveraged the power of IBM mainframes to build greater business value, reduce cost and create competitive advantage. In the 21st century, IBM z Systems help cognitive businesses around the world gain real-time insight from big data analytics, deliver agility and efficiency through the cloud and ensure always-on service and data protection.

Mainframes at work

Today, mainframes process roughly 30 billion business transactions per day, including most major credit card transactions and stock trades, money transfers, manufacturing processes and ERP systems. It is estimated that 80 percent of the world’s corporate data resides or originates on mainframes.

  • 92 of the world’s top 100 banks, 23 of the 25 top US retailers and 9 out of 10 of the world’s largest insurance companies run z Systems.
  • 71 percent of global Fortune 500 companies are z Systems clients.
  • Nine out of the top 10 global life and health insurance providers process their high-volume transactions on a z Systems mainframe.

What about cloud? “Cloud” is actually just virtualized compute resources that can deliver IT services online based on user demand. By this definition, z Systems has been an internalized cloud for decades.

As with other types of cloud environments supported by the comprehensive IBM portfolio of all-flash storage solutions, mainframes also can benefit from the dynamic performance, agile integration capabilities and enduring economics of IBM flash storage. The new IBM DS8888 combines all-flash performance with extremely high availability, an industry-leading spectrum of data management and storage services features and unique integration with IBM z/OS.

With the DS8888, enterprises can get more than “six nines” availability, high performance, and robust data protection and disaster recovery features including business continuity solutions. Whether enterprises need two, three, or four-site replication, IBM DS8880 family members around the globe have demonstrated their ability to support the most taxing disaster recovery scenarios.

The payoff to choosing DS8888

Microcode updates, new POWER8 processors, and many other system features have been optimized to deliver double the performance with next-generation design and innovative high-performance flash enclosures (HPFE) optimized for flash that support up to 30 400GB encryption-capable flash cards in a 1U rack space. DS8888 includes advanced integration with IBM HyperSwap and IBM GDPS (Geographically Dispersed Parallel Sysplex), as well as other sophisticated business continuity solutions based on IBM z/OS Parallel Sysplex and IBM zHyperwrite. In addition to GDPS, DS8880 family members also provide automatic application failover in Power and Power i environments with IBM PowerHA and Power i HA, respectively.

IBM DS8888 is designed to manage the broad spectrum of storage workloads that exist in today’s complex mainframe infrastructure, and do it while offering mission-critical performance and low storage latency. Plus, the DS8880 family serves a much wider marketplace than just z Systems. In fact, 50 percent of the DS8880 systems are deployed in distributed platforms.

This new member of the DS8880 family of data systems provides the perfect example to illustrate our Flash Everywhere approach to enterprise storage. Flash has become the ideal choice to address a wide range of application workloads and storage use cases; from ultra-low latency all-in-memory requirements; through the full spectrum of active data sets demanding comprehensive storage services and data reduction; to mid-sized, budget constrained, capacity-optimized environments. And even for mainframes.

To meet such a variety of requirements most effectively, IBM offers all-flash storage solutions within all our enterprise storage product lines. You can find Flash Everywhere across our portfolio, including DS8880, the Storwize family, and XIV data systems, as well as with the innovative IBM FlashSystem.

Are mainframes an excellent option to power 21st century cloud-based business? The majority of the leading enterprises on the planet think so. Does IBM offer all-flash storage solutions purpose-engineered to accelerate mainframe environments? Of course we do. Just look for us at the confluence of cloud, cognitive, mainframe, and flash.

Learn more about IBM z Systems in the cognitive era.

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