Being experienced with Linux servers, EFiS didn’t need special training for Linux on System z. During mainframe installation, on-the-job z/VM training was provided.
The company also uses IBM’s System p (formerly called pSeries) for SWIFT Alliance and inter-bank communication and Intel-based servers for communication-based applications such as electronic banking services.
IBM business partner, PROFI Engineering Systems AG, based in Darmstadt, Germany, assisted EFiS in selecting and configuring the z9. To accurately and adequately size the mainframe, measurement software was installed on existing Intel-based Linux servers to gauge transaction throughput, memory usage, and disk occupancy.
An alternative implementation of Solution Edition for Enterprise Linux involves adding Enterprise Linux hardware and software components to an existing System z, with better price/performance achieved as facility scale increases. Both options use z/VM’s advanced virtualization and automation features, capable of running hundreds or thousands of Linux images.
Within the System z, HiperSockets provide virtual networking—linking all virtual machines and eliminating the need for complex, expensive networking equipment. Both options include three to five years of hardware maintenance and subscription/support for z/VM software.
Solution Editions Worldwide
Seeing positive customer reaction to Solution Editions, IBM is exploring opportunities spanning the portfolio of offerings.
Karl Freund, vice president of Marketing for System z, notes that customer acceptance of offerings for SAP, data warehousing, Linux, and WebSphere has been particularly strong. For example, BC Card, the largest credit card provider in Korea—a multi-bank consortium handling credit card transactions for more than 2.5 million merchants and tens of millions of credit card holders—selected System z10 as part of a Solution Edition, competing against HP and Sun servers.
BC Card’s IBM computing environment includes DB2, CICS, WebSphere and Tivoli Software, and uses IBM technical support services.
"We’re aiming to become Korea’s premier Global Payment Service Provider," says Jeongkyu Lee, CIO for BC Card. "We see System z as a critical success factor for our business objectives and service-level requirements for customers."
BC Card chose IBM’s middleware stack for database integration solutions provided by DB2 and InfoSphere Replication Server (IRS) and, specifically, utility batch performance of DB2 and reliability of CICS and WebSphere.
Technology Bundles Yield One-Stop Shopping
Solution Editions span the full System z processor range, with customers using both System z Business Class and Enterprise Class systems to deploy Solution Editions. They can buy incremental capacity on existing systems or build standalone environments. The System z portfolio’s scale and upgrade options accommodate small, medium, and large company requirements.
"While Solution Edition offerings appeal to new mainframe customers," IBM’s Freund says, "they are also very popular with existing System z customers who have experienced the [System] z platform’s traditional advantages, including high availability, security, scalability, and flexibility."
Offerings expand IBM’s initiative to help clients consolidate workloads on System z and benefit from smarter and more efficient data centers maximizing the use of information technology resources and reducing energy costs.
Since buying mainframes has lately been more of a let’s-make-a-deal proposition, rather than paying list prices, Solution Editions are described as being individually priced to compete with alternatives and deliver an attractive ongoing Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). There’s no simple way to calculate a standard discount from component list prices, but in particular, Enterprise Linux servers offer a unique "save-as-you-grow" pricing model—pricing incremental capacity significantly lower as configuration size increases.
Offerings may expand, with IBM continuing to evaluate the need for additional Solution Edition offerings. Many Solution Editions are foundational offerings for IT infrastructure and serve as application building blocks. So, for example, a customer can buy the Solution Edition for WebSphere and "snap on" other applications to modernize their environment. The System z Solution Edition for Enterprise Linux provides great flexibility, since more than 3,000 mainframe
Linux applications are currently available. For more information about Solution Editions, visit www.ibm.com/systems/z.