Mainframes

Ensuring Growth with zEnterprise EC12

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It has been an exciting two years working towards the launch of the new zEnterprise EC12. More than ever, we are listening to and helping our clients meet their IT requirements to ensure they have the right platform in place to grow and succeed.

The new zEC12 comes with the fastest chip in the industry. The new 5.5 GHz processor chip can scale to over 78,000 MIPS in a single footprint. The zEC12 has a microprocessor design that delivers a boost for all workloads – enhancements that help eliminate tension between locks, enable better self tuning of runtime code and much more. Talk about end-to-end optimization: our hardware developers are talking all the time to IBM Software Group, so products like Java, DB2, PL/I, C/C++ and IMS are all getting a boost from these enhancements. And Java, CICS and Tivoli have all done Statements of Direction to deliver additional new function that will exploit the zEC12 in the future.

The aforementioned DB2 boost is specifically in the area of z/OS operational analytics. With the explosive growth in data, companies today are drowning in information — but surveys indicate that business users are unable to find the information they need to make key business decisions. Whether it is within a mobile transaction, a banking transaction or a web-based inquiry, information needs to be delivered to users faster than ever before. Businesses are using analytics to:

  • Empower employees, customers and suppliers
  • Improve revenue
  • Reduce costs
  • Lower risk
  • Make better decisions overall.

Products like IBM DB2 Analytics Accelerator (IDAA) enable ‘train of thought’ analysis. In addition to IDAA, products like Cognos, ISAS, IBM Operational Decision Manager for z/OS and SPSS can also boost analytical capabilities.

There is a new firmware offering introduced with the zEC12: IBM zAware. It’s been many years since I was an IBM Program Support Representative (PSR) for the Field Engineering Division, but back in those days my life seemed to revolve around doing PD (problem determination) and PSI (problem source identification). Message logs were huge, but today they are even bigger as the volume of z/OS operating system, middleware and application messages may exceed 25 million messages a day. When an error occurs, it is often complex and reflective of multiple application changes, system configuration settings, patches and so on. IBM zAware provides a solution for detecting and diagnosing anomalies in systems. This can help IT staff to more quickly understand and diagnose unusual data center situations, speeding up problem determination before it’s too late.

With the zEC12, new features can also be installed to the PCIe I/O drawer. On August 28th, we also introduced Flash Express: an optional feature for zEC12 that exploits solid state drive (SSD) technology, providing a faster paging device compared to hard disk drive (HDD) storage. We are delivering a new Crypto Express4S (tamper-resistant, of course) that can be configured as a secure IBM Enterprise PKCS #11 to support some of those digital signing requirements in Europe. There’s also an OSA-Express 1000BASE-T Ethernet feature to support your copper infrastructure.

I was excited about the hybrid computing we announced on the zEnterprise System in 2010. This continues to be alive and well today, as clients all over the world – both big and small – are no longer kicking tires but putting the zBX with blades into production. Our announcement included some statements of direction for Systems Director and Unified Resource Manager that show our commitment to this technology.

Don’t forget System z’s gold standard virtualization capabilities, which are perfect to support private cloud environments. Thousands of distributed systems can be consolidated with Linux on zEnterprise on the zEC12, resulting in savings in IT operating expenses associated with energy use, floor space and software licensing.

I can go on and on, but you’d probably rather get into the nitty-gritty details from the technical teams. Check out the new Redbooks that we are putting out, as well as the FAQ documentation … or just call your System z representative to get the scoop!

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