IBM’ System and Technology Group (STG) offered analysts an update on the success of its System z family of mainframes. I wasn’t at all surprised to learn that current users are buying more of these systems and new customers are buying them.
What IBM had to say
IBM presented a list of impressive statistics designed to prove that the mainframe is alive, continuing to serve in its original mission of being an organization’s central computing system, support for massive number of business transactions or platform for very large, centralized databases. It is also claiming new workloads because of its tightly integrated management and security capabilities.
Here are a few tidbits from IBM’s presentation:
- Total installed System z capacity continues to grow.
- The centralized, unified management that is offered by IBM’s Flex Systems Manager (FSM), is attracting new customers. FSM makes it possible for a System z configuration to manage blade systems running AIX, Windows or Linux
- IBM continues to innovate in the areas of system to system communication allowing hybrid mainframe/UNIX/Windows/Linux environments to provide high levels of performance. This allows organiztions to re-centralize distributed applications to reduce overall costs.
- IBM’s zEnterprise system has been purchased by over 120 new customers, customers from all over the world and in IBM’s target markets
Time and again, I hear suppliers of midrange systems, such as Cisco, Dell, or Oracle/Sun, present the story that their systems can address any computing problem from the very small to the very large. Although it is often unspoken today, their message to big organizations is that they can discard their mainframe installations and move those workloads onto clusters or grids of midrange systems without worry.
Why is it, then, that IBM’s System z family continues to grow? Why do mainframe configurations find their way into the data centers of new customers? The answer appears to be the same now as it was back in the 1970s and 1980s.