Shake it Off: z13 Can Withstand 8.0 Magnitude Earthquake

Talk about resiliency: IBM's z13 can survive an 8.0 magnitude earthquake, and IBM made a video to prove it.

In the clip, researchers strap the z13 onto an earthquake simulator at the University of Nevada at Reno. The device begins roughly moving the z13 back and forth, reaching 8.0 on the Richter scale.

An 8.0 magnitude earthquake is strong enough to level brick buildings and twist railroad tracks like ribbons. They're relatively rare and only occur once every five to 10 years, but when they do, the results are catastrophic. The 2010 earthquake that devastated Haiti, for example, was a 7.0 on the Richter scale.

"If the IBM mainframe can pass these motions," said Patrick LaPlace, a research assistant professor at the university's Large Scale Structures Lab, "then it can be qualified for all the types of earthquakes that we may see in all the types of buildings that the mainframes may be in."

In IBM's test, panels jostle and wires shiver, but in the end, it's able to withstand the simulated quake.

"To make certain that no matter whether you've deployed your z in the middle of the Mojave Desert or you've decided to do so somewhere in Alaska, these systems were able to survive in almost any environment so that their customers, no matter what happens within the data center itself, their customers never see a blip," said Eldee Stephens, Nest Bringup Lead for IBM z Systems.

Now that's the ultimate in high availability.

One of the benefits of SHARE is the opportunity to talk about your experiences and learn from peers -- especially when their systems have continued functioning through the unthinkable. Has your mainframe ever survived an otherwise devastating disaster, such as an earthquake or hurricane? Tell us your amazing mainframe survival story in the comments!

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