Inside IBM's Mainframe Factory


In a recent video, The Street offered a unique behind-the-scenes look at IBM's z13 manufacturing facility in Poughkeepsie, New York.

Between touting its ability to withstand an 8.0 magnitude earthquake and the resiliency to run uninterrupted for decades, reporter Scott Gamm showcased footage from within the newest mainframe's birthplace.

So what's the inside of the z13 look like? Much the way that you'd expect -- all grey panels and intertwined wires. But what those ordinary parts can accomplish is astonishing.

The z13 has 300 percent more memory than its predecessor, as well as 40 percent greater processing capacity, Gamm noted -- making it well-primed to tackle the explosion in data from mobile transactions. In fact, z13 can process 2.5 billion transactions each day, ensuring it will continue to be the go-to platform for the financial services industry.

Unifying analytics and storage on one platform could save a large insurance company upwards of $250 million a year as a result of faster fraud detection, according to Tom McPherson, vice president of z Systems development at IBM.

Z13 also allows companies to breathe easier when they use a public cloud. Private clouds can be connected to the public cloud with the benefit of end-to-end encryption, so they can trust their data will stay secure no matter what threats may try to encroach.

"[IBM] has developed a high-end mainframe server business that should be optimized for the 'strategic' workload of analytics and cloud," Morningstar analyst Pete Whalstrom told The Street. It's a bid to find a more strategic focus for the company's hardware business, he surmises.

SHARE is closely following all of the latest developments involving z13 and its impact on the industry. If you weren't able to attend SHARE in Seattle, which included several presentations about the newest mainframe, you can purchase access to the archives and listen to recordings for our expert thoughts. Visit for more information.

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