August 30, 2011

The Significance of the IBM zEnterprise System

Imagine taking the multitude servers you currently manage and consolidating them into a single machine. Imagine when your project needs a new server, being able to dynamically create and use this image almost immediately, rather than wait weeks for purchasing and configuration work. This exciting technology is available now with the IBM zEnterprise System.

IBM is revolutionizing IT infrastructure through the introduction of zEnterprise 196 (z196), zEnterprise 114 (z114) and zEnterprise BladeCenter Extension (zBX) hardware. Before I get into what this hardware is all about, consider the IT challenges many organizations face.

The primary challenge is managing the dozens of servers that work together to run a given application. This configuration isn't scalable, and when new hardware is needed, the entire application must be recertified. The old hardware is worthless. With companies running leaner, this makes it almost impossible to keep up with the work needed to manage and upgrade these systems. To add to the complexity, these applications tend to store data in DB2 running on z/OS. 

On top of this, when organizations seek to improve performance, they typically either add new servers or upgrade existing ones. This only increases the complexity of these environments.

In contrast, the IBM z196/z114 along with zBX blades allows you to centrally manage and configure disparate platforms. This provides application scalability through the hardware as well as scalability in managing all of the components, including diverse operating systems (z/OS, z/VM, z/VSE, z/TPF, Linux on System z) and zBX blades running (Linux for System x XH5, POWER7 with AIX, specialty blades for IBM WebSphere DataPower XI50 and IBM Smart Analyztics Optimizer) with a future blade planned for Windows.

The z196 and z114 are designed to handle both CPU-intensive and I/O-intensive workloads while providing the superior scalability and high availability you expect from the IBM mainframe. Another aspect that makes this new platform revolutionary is its native virtualization capabilities. zEnterprise allows you to create and managed thousands of virtualized images, and these capabilities are also extended to the zBX. Through virtualization, the physical resources can be shared among multiple workloads. These workloads can have varying policies with different objectives. The Unified Resource Manager manages and fulfills the objective of the workload policy in the most optimal and efficient way. You'll soon hear much more about zEnterprise and its native virtualized systems management capabilities, as well as its relationship with cloud computing.

For a detailed overview of the zEnterprise System and the benefits it brings to your organization download the new IBM Redbook, "IBM zEnterprise System Technical Introduction."

Has your organization moved to zEnterprise? What about zBX? Are you considering either? Please share your experiences in Comments.