For IBM, there is no debating whether or not the mainframe is dead. If IBM felt it was, the company wouldn't have gambled $1 billion, five years of development, over 500 new patents, and collaborative efforts with more than 60 clients in the z13, IBM's newest mainframe and, according to Big Blue, one of the most sophisticated computer systems ever built -- high self praise.
IBM's newest mainframe server, the zEnterprise EC12, is purportedly the most powerful and technologically advanced enterprise system Big Blue has ever assembled. It sports the world's fastest processor, a six-core 32nm part running at 5.5GHz, that offers 25 percent more performance per core than the 45nm quad-core chip used in the previous generation zEnterprise 196. According to IBM, zEC12 is the result of an investment of more than $1 billion in research and development.
International Business Machines (IBM) today announced a new lower-cost mainframe server aimed at mid-size organizations and governments in emerging markets in Asia, Africa, and other parts of the world. The z114 is the latest and most powerful version of IBM's zEnterprise System, and also the most scalable ever. It costs 25 percent less and offers up to 25 percent improved performance compared to IBM's zB10 BC servers, IBM says.
IBM recently revealed some details of its new 5.2GHz microprocessor chip, but consumers shouldn't bother saving their pennies to get one. The z196, which will be at the heart of the company's new Z-series mainframes, will be an enterprise-only product. Even if you could convince them to sell you a mainframe, it would likely break the bank at around $1 million.
The z196 is using the CISC instructions set and packs 1.4 billion transistors onto a 512 square mm die. The z196 will have 64 Kbyte L1 instruction cache, 128-Kbyte L1 data cache, and 1.5-Mbyte L2 cache on each core. How many cores are we talking about in one mainframe? Oh, only up to 96 of them, that's all.
These new super-chips will be capable of running multiple operating systems on the mainframe in any combination, including z/OS, z/VM, z/VSE, Linux on System z , and z/TPF. In some ways, IBM is doing us a favor by keeping this chip out of the reach of the common geek. It may be too much computing power for any mere mortal to handle.
Spanair flight number JK 5022, which crashed seconds after taking off from Madrid's Barajas airport on August 20, 2008, may have been doomed by a malware-infected mainframe responsible for identifying technical snags, it has now emerged. A preliminary probe into the cause of the crash that killed 154 people had pinned the blame on pilot error.
But according to a recent report in Spanish daily El Pais, the malware-toting mainframe may have had a significant role in the crash. A couple of technical problems passed under the radar a day before the crash. However, had the computer been in rude health, it would have not only helped technicians identify the snags but also prompted them to ground the ill-fated plane. An investigation commission is expected to submit its final report in December.
Are you worried Fermi is going to make your GeForce 8800 look a bit long in the tooth? Well just be glad you're not stuck trying to run Crysis on the Secret Service's mainframe featuring state of the art technology from the 1980's. A classified review of the aging computer system has revealed that the system is now only operational about 60 percent of the time, and frequently prevents them from accessing the master database of mission critical information and apps.
"We have here a premiere law enforcement organization in our country which is responsible for the security of the president and the vice president and other officials of our government, and they have to have better IT than they have," said Lieberman, who is chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee. Currently the NSA runs 42 mission-oriented applications on a 1980s IBM mainframe, and are hideously underpowered based on the agencies current requirements.
The price tag for updating the system is a mere $187 million, and far below the $33 million they currently have in the budget. If I were president, I would probably check the seat cushions on Air Force One to make up the difference, they are charged with saving his life after all.
In an effort to protect its mainframe business and keep those dollars rolling in, IBM has been bad mouthing the compeition to its mainframe customers, and it will now have to defend some of those remarks in court. Neon Enterprise Software, a privately held company who makes a software tool called zPrime, has slapped IBM with a lawsuit accusing the company of unfair and unlawful competition.
The problem arose when IBM told its mainframe customers in a letter that "the use of zPrime will cause Neon's customers to become obligated -- contrary to IBM's original promises to customers that purchased SPs -- to pay software license fees for workloads shifted to SPs," Neon said in its lawsuit.
Neon denies the claim, further accusing IBM of selling additional SPs to customers only if they agree not to use Neon's products. So what did IBM have to say?
"Neon's software deliberately subverts the way IBM mainframe computers process data," IBM said. "This is akin to a homeowner tampering with his electrical meter to save money. IBM has invested billions of dollars in the mainframe this decade, and we vigorously protect our investment."
Neon is seeking damages and a permanent injunction to prevent IBM from making the same claims.