Oct 11

New z15 for Multicloud—Cloud-Native—Instant Recovery

by Alan Radding 

The z14 was introduced in the summer of 2017. So, it’s been a little over two years since IBM released a new top end mainframe, which seems about the right time for a new z. Unlike the z14, this machine is not focusing on the speeds and feeds, although they appear quite robust. With the z15, the focus is on multicloud environments.  No surprise there. IBM has been singing the gospel of multicloud and hybrid clouds for over a year.

IBM does not describe the z15 in the usual terms for a top of the line mainframe, the ever-larger speeds and feeds. Rather, IBM describes it as its new enterprise platform delivering the ability to manage the privacy of customer data across hybrid multicloud environments. With z15, clients can manage who gets access to data via policy-based controls, with an industry-first capability to revoke access to data even across the hybrid cloud.

One of the capabilities IBM cites most often about the z15 isn’t even new: it’s pervasive encryption.  This was available on the z14. With pervasive encryption data is encrypted immediately without your having to do anything and it imposes no cost in terms of system overhead. Thank you embedded hardware. The data also is automatically protected both at rest and in flight. The savings in terms of staff time alone should be considerable.

Related to pervasive encryption is a new z15 capability: Data Privacy Passport. This allows you to gain control over how data is stored and shared, enabling the ability to protect and provision data and revoke access to that data at any time, not only within the z15 environment but across an enterprise’s hybrid multicloud environment. Similarly, the z15 can also encrypt data everywhere – across hybrid multicloud environments – to help enterprises secure their data wherever it travels and lands.

Another new z15 capability is Cloud-Native Development. This capability facilitates how you can modernize apps in place by building new cloud-native apps and securely integrate your important workloads across clouds. This just expedites what Z shops have long done: leverage existing Z software assets. Now you can more easily build, deploy and manage next-gen apps and protect data through advanced security and pervasive encryption.

Yet another new capability is instant recovery. Here the goal is to limit the cost and impact of planned and unplanned downtime by enabling you to access full system capacity for a period of time to accelerate shutdown and restart IBM Z services and provide a temporary capacity boost to rapidly recover from lost time.

Instant Recovery addresses what has become a recent customer imperative, concern about organizations mishandling their organization’s private data.  IBM commissioned a study and found that 64 percent of all consumers have opted not to work with a business out of concerns over whether they would keep their data secure. In addition, that same study found 76 percent of respondents would be more willing to share personal information if there was a way to fully take back and retrieve that data at any time. With z15, pervasive encryption is designed to extend across the enterprise to enforce data privacy by policy even when it leaves the platform. With this built-in capability, your clients, as IBM explains it,  can offer new services and features that gives customers stronger control over how their personal data is used.

The new z15 also addresses the rising Importance of data privacy  to clients. IBM commissioned a study by Harris, the polling organization, and released it this week to coincide with the z15 introduction. The Harris study found that 64 percent of all consumers have opted not to work with a business out of concerns over whether a given partner could keep their data secure. However, that same study found 76 percent of respondents would be more willing to share personal information if there was a way to fully take back and retrieve that data at any time. With z15, pervasive encryption is designed to extend across the enterprise enforcing data privacy by policy even when it leaves the platform. With this you can offer new services and features that give clients stronger control over how their personal data is used.

Along with the new z15, this week IBM also introduced a new mainframe storage array, the DS8000F.  In keeping with the hybrid, multicloud theme, the new array is specifically designed for mission critical, hybrid, multicloud environments. This new array, according to IBM, promises comprehensive next-level cyber security, data availability, and system resiliency. In addition to z15, the IBM DS8900F delivers  more than 99.99999 (seven nines) of availability.percent uptime along with several Disaster Recovery options designed for near-zero recovery times to ensure protection of data. 

Seven nines of availability surpases any level of availability I have previously written about, even with the z14. It comes to, according to Google (https://uptime.is/complex?sla=99.99999&dur=24&dur=24&dur=24&dur=24&dur=24&dur=24&dur=24):

With this level of availability,  you don’t even have time even to dash off to the restroom during an instance of downtime. With the new seven nines (99.99999) of availability,  IBM Z, clients, says the company, now have a new level of control of how and when they store their data to make the best economic and business sense, while always keeping it resilient and available.