IBM has captured several of the major technology shifts happening today with the announcement last week of the latest member of the z Systems family, the new IBM z13—IBM Introduces Mobile-Centric Z13 Mainframe. IBM knows that consumers’ desire to find information and transact business using mobile devices is driving the need for integration of mobile and real-time analytics capabilities like never before. That kind of anytime, anywhere access, coupled with demands for ultra-security, 24x7x365 availability and absolute data integrity at all times, plays right into the traditional mainframe strengths of superior transaction processing, trust and security, data handling with integrity, and extreme scalability. In the z13, IBM has enhanced these traditional strengths with several new features that will keep the mainframe relevant for years to come. The new mainframe can be expected to provide:
- More capacity than its predecessor (110%)
- Improved throughput, up to 38% or more depending on the type of workload
- Enhanced I/O features, including more than double the internal bandwidth, an increase in data path speeds from 8 to 16 Gbps, and double the cryptographic speed
One new feature is Simultaneous Multithreading (SMT), which allows the execution of two sets of instructions on one core, improving throughput for Linux and zIIP-eligible workloads. For example, IBM internal tests on an IBM z13 with SMT enabled show Cognos on Linux under z/VM could see up to a 60% increase in throughput per core compared to a zEnterprise EC12 (zEC12). SMT is an exciting development that could lead to a whole new development path taking advantage of multithread applications on the mainframe.
Another new feature is SIMD, or Single Instruction, Multiple Data. It’s essentially vector processing on the chip, optimized for analytics. This opens the way to scanning and operating on billions of rows of data per second—resulting in more complex and flexible models useful for real-time analytics like fraud prevention (which is more valuable than mere detection). If the mainframe is your system of record, you can keep the data there rather than using ETL to move it to other platforms—where it is immediately stale, and you have to spend much time and effort to keep it in sync with the transactional data on the mainframe.
Also announced with the z13 (though not really a feature) is a new pricing model for memory. Because it takes large amounts of memory to improve throughput—particularly for agile mobile and analytics workloads—IBM has dramatically altered the pricing for memory to make it more affordable. Now there’s no reason to compromise performance when specifying memory for your mainframe.
The new IBM z13 is sure to be a major player in the enterprise server market, for almost any workload that demands performance, reliability, security, scalability and flexibility!