IBM finally let the cat out of the bag: zEnterprise System – the next generation of computing is here

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A lot of rumors have been circulating for the past few weeks about the expected “zNext” hardware system from IBM. Articles, blogs and tweets have all be predicting and guessing about what the new “ zNext” system might include. Today, finally, IBM officially unveiled the secret during a series of press events and public webcast. The zEnterprise System is now available!

And WOW what a hit! The announcement trumped all the guesswork that was going on. We will get a much more capable, powerful and high-performing new z hardware system that delivers greatly enhanced consolidation capabilities. The new z196 includes:

  • Up to 80 user-configurable cores
  • A quad-core 5.2 GHz processor chip which is designed to help improve
    the execution of Java™ and CPU-intensive workloads
  • Up to 3 TB of real memory per server
  • Increased internal networks (HiperSockets™)
  • The ability to extend the amount of addressable storage capacity
  • A massively improved power efficiency (Stealing IBM’s marketing words – this new z196 system really allows to “do more with less”.)

But it gets even better – IBM will bring us “the one system that rules them all” in the most positive sense. In this case, the rumors were right. Rumor had it that the new hardware would include an announcement of a “hybrid system”. Were you surprised? What IBM unveiled today might revolutionize the data center.

With the introduction of the new IBM zEnterprise™ System, for the first time it will be possible to deploy an integrated hardware platform that brings together System z and distributed technologies.

This hybrid system is designed to reduce complexity, improve security and bring applications closer to the data they need. It will consist of three components:

  • The first component is the new z196 mainframe system which will be available soon.
  • Over time the second component will be added, which is the z Blade
    Center Extension (zBX) with Power modules, and later, the x86
    modules.
  • And the third component, the IBM zEnterprise Unified Resource Manager, is key for the “hybridism” of the system and keeps the parts together. It is a new platform management capability which monitors, and governs workloads that are deployed across zEnterprise assets, including Linux virtual machines running on z/VM. Via the Unified Resource Manager, the multi-operating system resources running on different architectures are supposed to function as a single, logical, virtualized system, with shared memory, shared disk, etc … IBM promises this provides operational convenience when customers want to relocate applications from the zBX to Linux on z/VM as a result of application growth, closer consolidation requirements and/or a need for superior qualities of service.

Doesn´t that sound fabulous? Much more power and performance – with a massively reduced TCO! And to make things even better, the new zEnterprise is supported by SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for System z. If you want to learn more we’d love to discuss it with you. Let us know what you think by posting comments below, or just drop me an email. chabow@novell.com

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Meike Chabowski
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Meike Chabowski

Meike Chabowski works as Documentation Strategist at SUSE. Before joining the SUSE Documentation team, she was Product Marketing Manager for Enterprise Linux Servers at SUSE, with a focus on Linux for Mainframes, Linux in Retail, and High Performance Computing. Prior to joining SUSE more than 20 years ago, Meike held marketing positions with several IT companies like defacto and Siemens, and was working as Assistant Professor for Mass Media. Meike holds a Master of Arts in Science of Mass Media and Theatre, as well as a Master of Arts in Education from University of Erlangen-Nuremberg/ Germany, and in Italian Literature and Language from University of Parma/Italy.