Two industry firsts from IBM Z at the Think London event

By | 4 minute read | November 12, 2019

From time to time, we invite industry thought leaders to share their opinions and insights on current technology trends to the IBM Systems IT Infrastructure blog. The opinions in these posts are their own, and do not necessarily reflect the views of IBM.

On the 16th of October IBM held their Think Summit in London again that demonstrated innovation, sustainability and their latest developments within the emerging technology scene. I was fortunate enough to attend the annual Think event in San Francisco earlier this year so I knew what was in store, or so I thought!

My own personal interest for Think London was the launch of the new IBM z15, IBM’s latest model of the mainframe technology platform. Said platform has undergone so many changes over the decades and I have watched, written about, advised and followed all of the previous developments to date. However, I think the latest inclusions and additions released with this model are game changing (2x industry firsts announced) and let me tell you why. But before I do this, let me set the scene with the current technical challenges facing every business today!

Security, or shall I say — the lack of it! Cybersecurity has only recently become a critical part of any digital initiative, where previously it used to be just a tick on a change control process or tagged with elements of antivirus and malware projects (yes, it’s true).

Scalability by choice (multicloud/hybrid choices) can be a problem faced by any cloud native project, app development initiative or even legacy migration or transformation. Not every provider can deliver the heterogenous approach to fulfil this complicated requirement.

Disaster recovery is a big issue that also gets dusted under the carpet when brought up in conversation. Public cloud providers will suggest they provide excellent contingency plans for this. Cloud service brokers and providers also boast robust measures when talking resiliency but when you dig under the covers you may not like what you see (contracts backing off onto data center default cover agreements and many other unpleasant findings).

So what has this got to do with IBM Think London you may think? Well quite a lot when I explain some of the new z15 features and additional services that come out of the box!

Security and encryption everywhere

I was amazed by the announcements from IBM Systems around an industry first (I think) for security of data entry and exit points, and most importantly the ability to manage and control said security at a touch of a button (or a click of a mouse). Rather than write all of this down here, please watch the very short video interview below with the product manager for data privacy passports!


I advise many startup organizations in this very subject. Scalability can make or break (lack of it) any organization and the same is true with technology. It has become a must — not a nice-to-have — for cloud-native initiatives when discussing interoperability and growth.

If you or your product or service cannot scale, how can you hope to grow? You can’t; that’s plain and simple, but it’s not just about growth. The more you are open collaborators for more than just your own methods and approach, the more you can accommodate new ways of working! Again, take a look at another great interview that discusses cloud-native development in depth with the IBM Z system in mind.


It’s no secret that I used to own and run my own disaster recovery/business continuity consulting company and such I think I am well placed to comment on the lack of importance this usually draws!

With technology being wrapped into services (for nearly 2 decades now) you would think that service providers and cloud brokers would have matured to consider the worst possible service delivery outages possible. Sadly, this is not the case and many cut corners and simply back off service level agreements to the parent hosting provider that may have more credentials to boast.

At the IBM Think London event another industry first was announced by the Z team. Not only will they support a 5×9 service level agreement (99.999% uptime guaranteed), but the amazing advances over the last 4 years in the tech can now boast a staggering 99.99999% availability! That’s approximately 3 seconds of down time per year! How’s this possible? With IBM Z Instant Recovery services, that’s how. And again, let’s hear from someone who can tell you directly from the event!

Yes, there were other announcements on the day — a new chipset, some massive sustainability initiatives, and quantum computing demonstrations as well as some really cool demonstrations of AI and automation, but for me the Z team have surpassed my expectations with the latest developments to an ever-evolving platform that just keeps getting better and better!

Interested in learning more about the new IBM z15? Catch the on-demand webcast where you’ll join industry thought leaders as they discuss the platform.