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IBM Announces On-Premises Cloud for the Mainframe

By - Source: Toms IT Pro

To ensure companies don't miss any cloud related marketing opportunities, IBM has unveiled the new IBM Enterprise Cloud System for the IBM System z mainframe platform for customers who would rather run their own cloud platform on a mainframe than subscribe to someone else's product. Synchronized with this Cloud System announcement was a separate unveiling by IBM of other new offerings for the System z that offer a potentially lower z/OS processing fee for heavy users of mobile applications, a version of Hadoop that runs on Linux on System z, and a new flash storage option.

Both announcements did have a common theme that involved new pricing models and a subtle hint to check out IBM's Global Financing group for those potential customers who want the mobile and Cloud System features but do not currently own an IBM System z mainframe.

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IBM did not announce any new development features or upgrades to the company's existing Mobile Computing platform for System z. However, IBM did announce new pricing that might lower fees for users with significantly high numbers of mobile transactions being processed through the System z operating system (z/OS). The lowered cost is based on a reduction of the processor capacity for mobile transactions, which according to the company could be as high as 60 percent. For businesses who deploy mobile applications that interact heavily with System z, this could help control some of the business costs.

IBM also mentioned a variety of other offerings to benefit clients running on the System z that include:

  • zDoop is a commercial Hadoop for Linux on System z that allows clients to keep data on the System z rather than offload it to other systems for processing.
  • IBM DS8870 flash storage for mainframe that provides significantly faster performance over hard disk drives. IBM states flash storage is about 30x faster than HDD.
  • IBM CICS (Customer Information Control System) Transaction Server that provides enhanced mobile and cloud support for CICS. CICS is middleware that manages high number transactions (i.e. point of sale, ATM, etc.)
  • IBM WebSphere Liberty z/OS Connect that enables clients to connect mobile, web, and cloud to z/OS data or assets.
  • IBM Security zSecure SSE is an end-to-end security platform for the System z.

The newly announced IBM Enterprise Cloud System for the System z is an integrated platform that is factory built and configured for quick deployment. IBM says the system is built on open standards and can support up to 6,000 virtual machines, providing a secure multi-tenant environment.

Although IBM is positioning this system for both enterprise and commercial use, the company announced new utility pricing for cloud service providers based on a compute consumption model. This utility pricing does not appear to be available for enterprises that manage their own private cloud infrastructure.

IBM's MSP (Managed Service Provider) utility pricing for System z model will be handled through IBM Global Financing. IBM is clearly hoping cloud service providers who have stayed away from laying out the cash to purchase an IBM mainframe might be able to view this utility model as a financially beneficial alternative.

Additionally, IBM claims the cost of a Linux on System z cloud deployment can be up to 55 percent less than a comparable cloud deployment based on an x86 infrastructure. Operating costs incurred after the deployment were not mentioned.

The new IBM Enterprise Cloud System package includes:

  • IBM zEnterprise Linux Server (zBC12 or zEC12);
  • IBM Storage (v7000 or DS8000) with IBM z/VM;
  • IBM Wave for z/VM;
  • IBM Cloud Management Suite (SmartCloud Orchestrator, OMEGAMON XE and Tivoli Storage Manager).

IBM has also announced free training in support of Linux and Enterprise Computing. These are online educational offerings available through massive open online courses (MOOCs) and are available at various times during the year from different colleges.

For more information on the training options, visit