August 23, 2011

The Mainframe and Information Management

As a proud mainframer, I'm excited to see IBM continue to bring innovation to managing information on the System z platform. Naturally I'm particularly pleased that so much of this innovation is connected to DB2 for z/OS, which has been the focus of my entire 20-plus year career in information management.

Along those lines, I want to point to this recently updated Redguide from IBM's Redbooks organization. This publication explains in detail how running information management on System z can benefit your organization. I'll list just a few of these benefits:

  • The mainframe has proven capabilities when it comes to managing mission-critical databases.
  • The mainframe has superior availability and scalability characteristics.
  • The large capacity of the System z servers, combined with the energy-efficient design, provide the capbility to run a low-cost centralized information management infrastructure.

This architecture presents DB2 for z/OS as the operational data store and underlying database for the data warehouse. The next generation of mainframe hardware is transforming this into a heterogeneous architecture that allows you to take advantage of System z server-managed "accelerators" running on IBM System x or IBM Power blades. The first accelerator is IBM Smart Analytics Optimizer for DB2 for z/OS V1.1, which has been available since late 2010. This solution, which integrates System z, DB2 on z/OS, IBM BladeCenter, and IBM storage, can, according to IBM, accelerate certain queries by one to two orders of magnitude.

The hardware for the Smart Analytics Optimizer is based on the new zEnterprise 196 and the new IBM zEnterprise BladeCenter Extensions on which the optimizer runs. I'll write more about this new hardware next week.