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IBM unveils midsize mainframe

Apr 15, 20042 mins
Data CenterIBM

* IBM’s z890 intended for midsize businesses

IBM introduced a mainframe last week for midsize businesses.

Celebrating the 40th anniversary of the IBM System/360 mainframe, the IBM eServer zSeries 890 is, according to IBM, inexpensive enough to be purchased by midsized businesses for their mission-critical applications.

The z890 uses the same technology as its bigger sister, the z990. It has 30% fewer processors than the z800, but each processor is faster, resulting in total performance doubling. Actually, the z890 is available in 28 capacity levels, which allows customers to match processing capabilities to their environments.

The z890 has a variety of features, including on/off capacity-on-demand, improved networking and a Java execution environment.

In on/off capacity-on-demand, IBM provides additional temporary capacity for varying workloads in Parallel Sysplex clustering and Java configurations. The mainframe supports Integrated Coupling Facilities and IBM’s zSeries Application Assist Processor, an environment that lets customers integrate Java-based Web applications with core business applications. ZAAP pricing is $125,000 per processor.

The z890 can run Linux and mainframe operating systems concurrently. It has four CMOS processors. The company has added a new controller – the OSA Express Integrated Console Controller – that supports as many as 120 console connections. The z890 supports as many as 1,024 I/O channels.

IBM has also said it will ship an updated version of its z/OS operating system in September. Version 1.6 of z/OS will be enhanced to run Java, support ZAAP and have improved IP capabilities. It will support 64-bit C/C++ and the Java Software Development Kits.

IBM unveiled a virtual machine environment for its mainframes. The z/VM environment has virtualization capabilities for hosting Linux, as well as security enhancements and SCSI support.

The z890 is expected to ship next month, starting at $200,000.