Turbotodd

Ruminations on IT, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

New Z, Smarter Data Center

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Today’s a big day.

It’s my birthday.  No gifts, please.

But it’s also the day IBM has announced the birth of the new zEnterprise mainframe, complete with a system design overhaul, that allows workloads on mainframe, POWER7, and System x servers to share resources and be managed as a single, virtualized system.

All that for my birthday!  Woo hoo!  Can I put one of those suckers in my home office? (Then I could really live up to my nickname.)

All birthday hilarity aside, this new system represents a major investment and a lot of blood, sweat, and tears on the part of IBM employees, particularly up in our Poughkeepsie plant.

There, IBM added a new, 56,000-square-foot, $30 million production floor to manufacture the new zEnterprise. 

And overall, it represents some U.S. $1.5 billion in R&D investment and a three-year, 24-hour development cycle that spanned three continents and involved more than 5,000 IBMers working a total of 31 million hours.

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IBM employees Einar Norman, (left) Plattekill, N.Y. and Richard Lane, Rosendale, N.Y., prepare IBM’s new zEnterprise System Mainframe for shipment in the company’s Poughkeepsie, N.Y. plant.

Following are a few speeds and feeds and a whole bunch of details about the new system (Hang on to your raised floor railings, bay-bey!):

  • Industry first: IBM mainframe governance and management benefits extended to select POWER7, System x environments
  • New technology boosts complex analytics performance up to 10X, delivering insight from business data in minutes versus hours
  • zEnterprise is the most powerful, scalable mainframe server ever –- up to 60% faster than System z10 for new workloads
  • Most energy efficient mainframe — more than 100,000 virtualized servers can be managed as a single system;  60% more capacity than z10 while using same amount of energy

The new systems design combines IBM’s new zEnterprise mainframe server with new technology — the IBM zEnterprise BladeCenter Extension and the IBM zEnterprise Unified Resource Manager — that enable it to manage workloads running across System z, and select POWER7 and System x servers. 

As a result, customers can integrate the management of zEnterprise System resources as a single system and extend mainframe qualities, such as governance and manageability, to workloads running on select IBM POWER7 and System x blade servers.

With the ability to manage workloads across systems as one, the zEnterprise System can drive up to 40% lower acquisition costs and reduce cost of ownership by 55%.

IBM designed the zEnterprise System to address an important issue for corporate data centers — the jumble of disparate technologies added over time to run specific applications and which operate in silos, sometimes unable to communicate with each other in real time and requiring separate staff and software tools to manage.

This long-standing challenge for customers is aggravated  by dramatic increases in cost and complexity amid a rising tide of sophisticated, data-intensive workloads.

IBM zEnterprise BladeCenter Extension

The IBM zEnterprise BladeCenter Extension allows supports purpose IBM POWER7 and System x BladeCenter systems as well as blades optimized for specific workloads, such as analytics and managing Web infrastructure.

IBM blade servers inside the IBM zEnterprise BladeCenter Extension — which can be managed like mainframe resources — integrate with System z and can run tens of thousands of off-the-shelf applications. 

Later this year, IBM will deliver the zEnterprise BladeCenter Extension with support for IBM POWER7 blades running AIX, IBM’s UNIX operating system.  IBM is also introducing the IBM Smart Analytics Optimizer to accelerate the performance of complex analytic workloads at a lower cost per transaction. 

Next year, IBM plans to announce additional general purpose blades for the IBM zEnterprise BladeCenter Extension including select IBM System x-based blades running Linux.  Additional workload optimized blades are planned to include IBM DataPower for improving website and network performance.

IBM zEnterprise Unified Resource Manager

New IBM Systems Software called Unified Resource Manager is first-of-its-kind firmware — software that controls how the hardware functions — that integrates multiple platform resources as a single virtualized system and provides unified management for zEnterprise. 

More than 100,000 virtualized servers can be managed as a single system on a fully-configured cluster of zEnterprise Systems.

The zEnterprise Unified Resource Manager is the key to using mainframe quality of service attributes, including security and reliability, to benefit workloads running on select Power and System x BladeCenter systems. 

For example, the Unified Resource Manager can identify system bottlenecks or failures among disparate systems. If a failure occurs on a System x blade server, the Unified Resource Manager can instantaneously move the affected application to another System x blade to keep it running. 

At the same time, the Unified Resource Manager automatically sends an electronic message to IBM to initiate a service call. The Unified Resource Manager can also help prioritize compute workloads  in line with changing business priorities. 

Additionally, the zEnterprise Unified Resource Manager improves network security across applications spanning the complete zEnterprise system, including workloads on IBM POWER7 and System x blades.  This helps reduce complexity and the need for additional encryption and firewall security software within the zEnterprise environment. 

The New zEnterprise 196

From a performance standpoint, the zEnterprise System is the most powerful IBM system ever. The core server in the zEnterprise System — called zEnterprise 196 — contains 96 of the world’s fastest, most powerful microprocessors running at 5.2Ghz, capable of executing more than 50 billion instructions per second. 

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IBM technician Asia Dent, Poughkeepsie, tests two multi-chip modules that will each power one of IBM’s new zEnterprise System mainframes. Each ceramic module forms the central processing unit of the new computer and packs 96 of the world’s fastest microprocessors (5.2 Ghz) together to give the new mainframe 60% faster performance than its predecessor, while using the same amount of electricity. Each module is capable of executing 50 billion instructions per second.

This new IBM microprocessor technology has new software to optimize performance of data-heavy workloads, including up to a 60% improvement in data intensive and Java workloads. Increased levels of system performance in turn increases software performance, which can reduce software license costs. 

The new system offers 60% more capacity than its predecessor, the System z10, and uses about the same amount of electricity.  For clients selecting Linux on System z, a single virtualized server can be created and deployed for less than $1 per day.  It costs 74% less to run comparative Oracle workloads on the zEnterprise 196 compared to x86 systems.

Energy efficiencies were achieved through advances in microprocessor design, 45nm silicon technology, more efficient power conversion and distribution, as well as advanced sensors and cooling control firmware that monitors and makes adjustments based on environmental factors such as temperature and humidity levels and even air density.

A water cooling option is also available for the z196 that can reduce energy use by up to 12%.  In a normal data center environment, water cooling reduces the required system air flow by more than 20%, while removing more than 70% of the system air heat load. 

This can be particularly beneficial for data centers with hot spots, or limited power and cooling capacity. Water cooling on the z196 is designed to connect directly to typical data center chilled water systems and does not require an external water conditioning unit.

The new z196 builds on the IBM System z industry leading security features.  IBM System z servers are the only commercial system to achieve Evaluation Assurance Level 5 security classification.

The z196 can be configured to include up to 80 specialty engines to further reduce costs and increase performance including the System z Application Assist Processor (zAAP) for integrating Java workloads with core business applications, the System z Integrated Information Processor (zIIP) designed to help free-up computing capacity and lower IT costs, and the Integrated Facility for Linux (IFL) to optimize Linux workloads running on the mainframe.

Smart Analytics Optimizer

IBM is also announcing the new IBM Smart Analytics Optimizer — created by IBM Research — an accelerator for analytic workloads integrated to the new mainframe through the BladeCenter Extension. 

With the hybrid features of the new zEnterprise system and the Smart Analytics Optimizer customers can analyze data to anticipate emerging business trends, capture new opportunities and avoid risks up to 10 times faster.

Using zEnterprise with DB2 10 for z/OS (currently in beta), Cognos Business Intelligence and SPSS Predictive Analytics, clients will have a single platform for unprecedented insight across their most critical core information resulting in increased productivity.

New IBM Software

The unique value of zEnterprise System is the synergy among the range of IBM hardware and software.  New software has been optimized for the zEnterprise and finely tuned to work cross platform when used in conjunction with the new Blade Center Extension. 

New Tivoli integrated service management for zEnterprise software helps provide visibility, control, and automation for applications, business services, infrastructure, and data resources.  And the new Tivoli security manager for zEnterprise software will allow clients to report and analyze security events associated with Linux on System z and include these reports in the mainframe reporting and analysis, as well as easily enroll and manage federated user access for zEnterprise and Linux on System z.

The new IBM Rational Developer for System z multi-platform environment for building, testing and deploying zEnterprise applications now offers a new Rational Developer for System z Unit Test feature.

This feature improves zEnterprise development productivity by off-loading mainframe application development and testing to a workstation, which frees the mainframe to run high-value core business applications.

New compilers also announced today help customers update applications designed to work on older systems to take advantage of the zEnterprise architecture.  The new IBM Rational C++ compiler, for example, can boost overall application performance by as much as 60%, when combined with new zEnterprise systems.

The new CICS deployment assistance for z/OS provides comprehensive reporting and improved change management facilities for CICS, helping further reduce ongoing IT infrastructure costs. 

IBM Information Management System (IMS) 11, which drives a high percentage of today’s transaction intensive workloads, extends its ability to easily interconnect with other applications using extended web services and connectivity for SOA. 

IMS runs 50 billion transactions every day on System z with real-time operational access from any application or platform.

The new Lotus collaborative tools on Linux on System z combine the productivity boost of collaboration with enterprise grade processor speed, scalability, and reliability to help people inside and outside an organization connect and collaborate faster and more reliably — accelerating business processes and driving growth.  

New versions of IBM Lotus Quickr and IBM Lotus Sametime join other products in the IBM Lotus software portfolio in empowering globally distributed and mobile employees with highly scalable communications and collaboration capabilities.

IBM is also announcing a new z/OS Distributed Data Backup feature for its flagship DS8000 storage system that can help lower data protection and disaster recovery costs by consolidating cross platform disaster recovery environments on to the z196.  Clients can now back up vital data from multi-platform workloads over high performance connections with the unmatched reliability and security of the mainframe.

Visit here to learn more about the new zEnterprise.

Written by turbotodd

July 22, 2010 at 2:40 pm

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