They’re Baaaaaaaaack: IBM Announces z13 Mainframe
Jan14

They’re Baaaaaaaaack: IBM Announces z13 Mainframe

Due for general availability on March 9, IBM’s z13 mainframe is targeted at three of the hottest IT trends – mobility, cloud and Big Data/analytics – and Big Blue’s mantra that infrastructure (i.e. hardware) matters. “Every time a consumer makes a purchase or hits refresh on a smart phone, it can create a cascade of events on the back end of the computing environment,” said Tom Rosamilia, SVP, IBM Systems, in a prepared statement. “Consumers expect fast, easy and secure mobile transactions. The implication for business is the creation of a secure, high performance infrastructure with sophisticated analytics.” From a revenue/profits perspective, hardware has been on a downward spiral, which is why IBM has moved its focus elsewhere. However, while mainframes accounted for just 5% of its revenues (2013), services and software were estimated to contribute around 25% of revenue and close to 45% of operating profit. “People say the mainframe is dead,” said Vernon Turner, an analyst at IDC, “but we say, hmmm, that’s a $4.5 billion tombstone.” IDC reported that IBM sold 2,700 mainframes in 2013, up from 2,300 systems and $4 billion in 2002. A more recent report states that System z revenues declined 35% year-over-year in IBM’s most recent quarter, so the timing for a new version is right. What makes the z13 different from some of our previous offerings is our integrated approach, particularly for customers that have to serve mobile users, said IBM’s John Birtles, Director, z Systems. Some of its benefits include: -the first system able to process 2.5 billion transactions per day built for mobile economy; -the ability to do real-time encryption on all mobile transactions at scale; and, -the first mainframe system with embedded analytics providing real time transaction insights 17X faster than compared competitive systems at a fraction of the cost. Organizations are focusing on transaction rates, security, flexibility and the cloud, said Birtles. Do they move work to the resources or resources to the work? “All of those things are traditional mainframe strengths, so people are looking to mainframes”. IBM says the z13 system represents a $1 billion investment, five years of development, exploits the innovation of more than 500 new patents and represents a collaboration with over 60 clients. For those dealing with the growing mobile explosion, it helps address the cascade of events – including comparisons to past purchases, data encryption and decryption, bank-to-bank reconciliations, and customer loyalty discounts – that cause a “starburst effect”, where a single transaction can trigger as few as four or as many as 100 additional system interactions. This starburst effect can create security vulnerabilities at each interaction point. According to...

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IBM’s z13: Powering New and Next Gen Mobile Transactions

IBM announced the new IBM z13, which it described as the most sophisticated computer system ever built, delivering scale and economics together with real-time encryption and analytics to meet the safety and performance expectations of businesses and consumers in the mobile economy. The z13 system culminates a $1 billion investment by IBM over five years of development that resulted in over 500 new patents. The z13 solution was developed in collaboration with over 60 IBM enterprise clients – underscoring the company’s singular commitment to providing higher-value, innovative technologies to its customers. To read the complete article, CLICK HERE NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT...

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IBM z13 – The Mainframe that Makes Mainframes Cool Again

One of the things that is fascinating about the technology market is that things cycle. What made the mainframe initially successful was the massive amount of I/O it could handle, which remained largely unmatched even as technology advanced to client server. This is because we didn’t seem to really need terminals anymore. However, with the rapid ad-vancement of personal mobile connected devices, like tablets and Smartphones, coupled with advancements like 5G and Mu-MIMO, there is suddenly a need for massive I/O and the z13, IBM’s just-announced mainframe, is uniquely suited for those tasks. Suddenly the mainframe is cool again! For more information, CLICK HERE NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT...

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The New IBM z13: The Arrival of Transactional Analytics

There are dozens upon dozens of improvements that IBM has made to its new mainframe architecture – the z13. But the biggest, stand-out improvement is that the mainframe is now well suited to integrate real-time analytics into the transactional stream. I have been hard-pressed for years to argue that mainframe architecture is superior to other architectures (including RISC, x86 and EPIC architectures) when it came to data-intensive analytics workload processing. My primary issue started at the processor level because the z Systems processor has long been a single thread, stacked work processor design that excels at transaction processing. But I also had other concerns about the amount of available memory and cache; data compression; and system-to/from-storage latency (I/O through-put). If the System z was to become a true analytics server, improvements in each of these areas were needed. For more information, CLICK HERE NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT...

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Cisco: Where We Are (Part 2of3)
Dec17

Cisco: Where We Are (Part 2of3)

SAN JOSE: The IT industry has weathered a lot of changes over the last 30 years, many of them either pioneered – or at least cashed in on – by Cisco Systems, including switches, routers and converged systems. The history of Cisco is market transitions, Chairman and CEO John Chambers told a group of journalists and analysts during a three-day Cisco-thon. “We see around corners… we see the things 3, 5, 10 years ahead of the opportunity.” While the 30-year-old remains networking’s 800-pound gorilla, and has captured the lion’s share of the surging converged infrastructure market – some combination of servers, storage and/or networking – it has been active in a variety of other segments, including analytics, cloud, collaboration and security. While Chambers called data analytics the “one area we were missing”, he added that the company has been heavily involved in analytics for many years, but the Internet of Everything, which the company has been calling a $19 trillion opportunity by 2020, requires a new approach, bringing the analytics to the edge where most of the data resides. The key is the edge, where the analytics goes, he said. However IoE and big data analytics (AKA Cisco Connected Analytics) are Cisco’s future (i.e. Part 3). According to company executives, Cisco’s today includes the usual networking suspects, as well as a variety of other segments, including security. “We have security as the number one, number two, number three, number four concern for all of our customers,” said Chuck Robbins, SVP Worldwide Field Operations. Just in case the 25% revenue jump last quarter didn’t indicate just how important Cisco thinks security is, IDC just reported that Cisco hung on to its lead in the security appliance market, growing its share 2.8 points to 18.7% of revenues, well ahead of second-place Check Point and more than twice the revenues of third-place Palo Alto Networks. The company also announced its intent to acquire Neohapsis, a privately held, Chicago-based security advisory company providing risk management, compliance, cloud, application, mobile, and infrastructure security solutions to Fortune 500 customers. Cisco’s key focus is addressing customers’ security issues, said Marty Roesch, Vice President/Chief Architect, Security Business Group/Sourcefire CTO, but solving them is more of an aspirational goal. “Over the last decade we’ve seen the industrialization of hacking.” They’re really getting professional in how they attack, with QA testing and even guarantees, he said. According to Ponemon data, the average cost of a breach in 2014 is $5.4 million per incident, and in a recent Cisco survey, 100% of the sample was compromised. The good news, said Roesch, is that means there is a huge opportunity in...

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