z What's Next

August 28 appears to be THE day. IBM has scheduled the announcement for the next generation of zEnterprise systems. You can register for the event here:   IBM Announcement

We were treated to a little bit of a sneak peek last week at SHARE. Greg Lotko's presentation (available here) talks about the future of Z, and Greg gave us some tidbits that he had jotted down on a note card. (Wouldn't I love to get a look at the note card?) I'm not even going to paraphrase, but I got the impression the new box will have a measurably larger number of processors and amount of memory. Greg didn't even give a year though, and in fact preempted any timing discussion by stating right up front he wasn't going to answer the question. I liked Greg a lot. He was direct, funny, personable. Unusual for an IBM executive of that stature. :)

For a z person (note gender agnostic noun), an announcment like this is a lot like Christmas morning. I can't imagine it being bigger than the July 2010 announcement, but then again, I wouldn't put it past them. It's encouraging to see IBM putting its full support into the platform.

I'm curious, though, about the exact time. 10:45 AM. Not your typical meeting time. I wonder what that might have to do with the announcement? If I were a conspiracy theorist, I'd say the new box is called z1045. Or AM 3/4. And I find myself obsessing on names again. ;)

There was a good bit of discussion at Greg's session about the length of time between IBM hardware announcements, Greg noted someone (Gartner?) observed 27-31 months. I find the following statement at dancingdinosaur:

"IBM historically refreshes the mainframe every three years so the zEnterprise is due a refresh in 2013, which Jeff Frey confirmed to DancingDinosaur just a few weeks ago"

I followed the link and read the interview with Jeff Frey, (who, by the way, is on the agenda for August 28) and I didn't really take away that Frey confirmed a hardware upgrade in 2013. In any event, as you've probably figured out, we're not in 2013 yet.

It seems clear to me from the announcement that some sort of hardware refresh is imminent: "On August 28, IBM is extending the zEnterprise platform..."  But keep in mind, announcement can be months ahead of availability, so it could be 2013 till whatever it is starts rolling out, if in fact it rolls. My money is on 2012 though, again for historical reasons, IBM has preferred to announce and deliver in the same quarter.

Curiousity killed the cat, so I will endeavor to think happy thoughts. It's only 12 days till Christmas....no....I'm not going to sing.

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