3 min

How IBM’s zSystems Platform Can Help Modernize Your Mainframe

The latest in mainframe technology offers organizations the benefit of hybrid cloud, security and DevOps features.

There’s a reason mainframe computing has been around for decades: Numerous organizations continue to use the technology for a variety of critical IT operations. As their environments evolve, these organizations must take steps to ensure that their mainframe infrastructure capabilities can be exploited for their overall IT strategy to achieve its business objectives.

Whether they are looking to upgrade their legacy mainframes or considering mainframe as a consolidation strategy for their x86 infrastructure, business and IT leaders are often attracted by the features and benefits of IBM’s new z16 mainframe line.

Hybrid Cloud and AI Enablement

Adoption of IBM’s zSystems platform tripled from 2012 to 2022 as the popularity of hybrid cloud technology grew. This is partly because a hybrid approach allows organizations to combine the best of the cloud with IBM zSystems hardware and helps them create new value with accelerated insights from artificial intelligence. Organizations looking to develop new AI capabilities can train their algorithms anywhere and then deploy them on z16 infrastructure with the embedded AI accelerator, giving business and IT leaders superior flexibility as they develop and support the technology of the future.

Security and Resilience

The z16 line features IBM’s industry’s quantum-safe cryptography system, with the Crypto Express8S hardware security module, which helps organizations protect themselves against “harvest now, decrypt later” quantum attacks. The IBM z16 is also well aligned with security applications such as IBM Z Security and Compliance Center to reduce the number of skills and resources needed for audit preparation and increase the confidence that IT and business leaders have in their security positioning. According to an ITIC survey, IBM zSystems infrastructure experienced the lowest incidence of downtime of any major hardware line in 2022. New tools such as Flexible Capacity for Cyber Resiliency underscore the ongoing attention to resiliency by zSystems.

DevOps Integration Capabilities

The ability to integrate with standard DevOps tools is a major point of interest for many IT and business leaders who are looking to continue the shift away from traditional (or waterfall) development processes. Continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) models on IBM z16 can leverage a broad range of tools, including Git workflows, UrbanCode Deploy, Instana, IBM Z and Cloud Modernization Stack, and Application Discovery and Delivery Intelligence.

Enhanced Data Center Efficiency and Sustainability

The sheer capacity enabled by the z16 line helps organizations drastically improve efficiency in their on-premises data centers. Data center administrators at many organizations have decided to consolidate the resources of numerous x86 servers into zSystems or LinuxONE infrastructure, not only saving floor space but also cutting down on power use and energy costs. The z16 line further enables organizations to achieve 100 percent processor utilization along with enhanced efficiency from specialty processors and embedded on-chip accelerators.

Wider Range of Installation Options

The new z16 rack-mount offering gives organizations the option of installing the infrastructure directly into their own racks. This creates an opportunity for customers to use their own racks if they prefer for hot aisle/cold aisle management, security concerns or other reasons. This option allows mainframe infrastructure to be collocated with other technologies such as storage and switches for converged solutions.

Ultimately, the IBM z16 platform enables IT teams to maintain their mainframe environments while taking advantage of powerful new advances in technology.

Story by Rhonda Sundlof, a certified project management professional with almost 25 years of experience in hardware development, supply chain management, quality engineering and new product introduction. Ms. Sundlof holds engineering degrees from the University of Maryland and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and enjoys supporting New York Climate Smart Communities, Girl Scouts, 4H youth development and local programs in science, technology, engineering and math.

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