Enterprise server 3.0 – zEnterprise BC12

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Also posted on: The Norfolk Punt

A bit over a week ago, I was told: “IBM today unveiled its new zEnterprise BC12 (zBC12) mainframe designed for the latest in analytics, cloud and mobile computing. With a starting price of USD $75,000″

That’s definitely interesting to me; but I imagine that most people in the mainframe space didn’t need me to tell them about it. And that the people that don’t realise that the mainframe today is ‘just’ another Enterprise server (albeit one that doesn’t suffer from idiocies like ‘high availability but with planned downtime’; or, for that matter, constant security issues) are going to stop reading as soon as they hit the word “mainframe”. Well, I’d like to call it Enterprise Server 3.0. but that isn’t really the point….

And, this is just a blog; not a paper attempting to re-educate people in what a modern mainframe can do (in addition to its old tricks like rock-solid virtualisation and real parallel programming), now that it can contain blade co-processors that run distributed-systems applications native, and has processors faster than most anything you’ll find in a desktop workstation these days. No, this is just me being amazed on-line, that some 33 years after I started working with computers, some people are still making technology choices based on old history, prejudice and what something is called.

OK, there certainly are people who ‘get’ modern mainframes and these enterprise servers are even gaining in popularity, I’m told – especially for running Linux VMs and in emerging economies. Nevertheless, I’m not meeting enough people who’re aware of this in my daily life in the UK!

I’d have hoped that by now people would simply understand the workloads they need to run, and the SLAs needed to satisfy the requirements of the business services they are supporting; and just buy whatever technology fits the bill at the right price, no matter what it is called. With knowledge transfer products like CA Chorus, even the cultural differences between platforms can be overcome and the mainframe fits a lot more opportunities….

I know that the IT industry is pretty young, but it’s a tad older than I am – surely it should be maturing a bit faster than it is?