What z13 Means about IBM's Mainframe Business

IBM made headlines in 2014 as it unloaded a significant volume of its hardware business -- and then made a splash in early 2015 by announcing that it was doubling down on its mainframe business with the introduction of the z13.

In the article, "Here's Why IBM is Still Building Mainframes," the Motley Fool took a stab at the reasoning behind IBM's continued investment in the platform, including the $1 billion it devoted to developing z13.

z13 Mainframe

Image of z13 mainframe. Source: IBM.

The mainframe continues to be an irreplaceable technology for industries such as financial services that require massive capacity and unassailable security. Yet, it has also evolved to support Linux and OpenStack, making it an ideal platform for cloud computing, as well.

Public cloud options just aren't dependable enough for the enormous, highly sensitive workloads associated with, for example, financial transactions. If your organization processes millions of ATM transactions a day, you can't afford even a moment of downtime.

And, as the article points out, despite the hefty price tag that comes with purchasing a mainframe, businesses often end up saving in the long run: Total cost of ownership can be as much as 50 percent less than running servers with the equivalent power. Nationwide Insurance, for example, made the right call by sticking with its mainframe instead of building a new data center:

Instead, it switched to using the virtualization technology available on IBM's mainframes, allowing Nationwide to save millions of dollars per year. Additional cost savings were achieved through the reduced need for floor space, networking hardware, etc.

Motley Fool predicts that z13 is a powerful enough platform to attract organizations that either previously abandoned or never adopted the mainframe. And, thanks to its core customer base, the new generation of mainframes won't disappear anytime soon.

Because of the significance of the z13 announcement, SHARE is adding a z13 track to the sessions at SHARE in Seattle. Presentations will include: The New IBM z13: Crypto, I/O Design, Features and Functions, Parallel Sysplex and Implementation Planning – Parts 1 and 2, and many other sessions.

For more information, or to register for SHARE in Seattle, visit www.share.org/seattle.

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