July 22, 2010 was a significant day in the history of mainframe computing. The new IBM zEnterprise is not merely a new mainframe. It represents the culmination in what may very well be the shift back to the centralized model of computing. In the economic downturn/global financial crisis of 2007-2010 we have seen many customers move back to a consolidated/centralized computing model. Truth be told, if we were to look at the cycle of centralized and distributed computing trends, we would likely see the shift towards centralization coincide with economic downturns. Why? Well, typically we see centralized computing represent ease of management and with it a lower total cost of ownership.
The zEnterprise (z196) is the epitome of this. For years we have heard about how many people thought they could replace their mainframe with clustered Windows servers. These thoughts had Redmond, WA as their epicenter. In a cruel twist of bitter irony, IBM's announcement discussed how the z196, through the Unified Resource Manager (URM), would be able to manage Wintel/x86 processor blade servers in the z Blade Center extension chasis (zBX). IBM acknowledges that some applications truly are better off running on Windows. Rather than trying to convince end users to replace these servers, IBM has said in effect, here is a unified management system ( URM) that can manage those servers with some of the same tools used to manage z/OS.
In effect, the zEnterprise is the Cloud. Of course, the zEnterprise offers substantial performance improvements over its predecessor, the System z10. Forty percent faster performance and the same level of energy consumption.
Last week SHARE held their semi-annual conference in Boston, and the zEnterprise was the focal point of the conference. Being someone who focuses on mainframe storage and storage network performance, I found a statement made in one of the keynote talks very interesting. Jeff Jonas (IBM) gave his keynote on business analytics. One point he referenced from a financial industry technical journal was that 1 millisecond of response time is worth $100 million revenue per year to a financial firm (banks, brokerages, insurance firms).
The energy efficiencies and high performance of the Brocade DCX compared to the Cisco MDS make the DCX the perfect companion for your new zEnterprise. It could be a decision that makes you money.