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April 10, 2018updated 25 Jun 2018 4:23pm

IBM Unveils “Skinny” New Mainframes

The two new models – the IBM z14 Model ZR1 and IBM LinuxONE Rockhopper II – are capable of processing over 850 million fully encrypted transactions a day on a single system and do not require special space, cooling or energy, says IBM.

By CBR Staff Writer

IBM has rolled out two new “skinny” single-frame mainframe members of its Z14 family, which it will also deploy in its own public cloud data centres, the company said on Tuesday.

The new systems deliver 8 TB memory and come with a Docker-certified infrastructure for Docker EE (Docker’s Containers-as-a-Service platform) tested up to 330,000 containers.

According to Gemalto’s Breach Level Index, of the nearly 10 billion records breached since 2013, only 4 percent of the stolen data was encrypted (and therefore rendered useless to hackers.)

The two new models – the IBM z14 Model ZR1 and IBM LinuxONE Rockhopper II – are capable of processing over 850 million fully encrypted transactions a day on a single system and do not require special space, cooling or energy, but still provide “groundbreaking” IBM pervasive encryption and Secure Service Container technology for secure data serving at massive scale, IBM said in a release.

Ross Mauri, general manager of IBM Z, described the two new models as ideal for clients “seeking robust security with pervasive encryption, machine learning, cloud capabilities and powerful analytics.”

The mainframe remains for many, the most stable, secure and mature environment to support IT initiatives, including blockchains; despite facing the challenge of a declining skilled mainframe workforce. They handle some 87 percent of all credit card transactions and process nearly $8 trillion payments a year.


A full system redesign delivers this capacity growth in 40 percent less space, IBM said, and both of the mainframes – which feature a 19-inch industry standard, single-frame design – are standardized to be deployed in any data centre.

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The new IBM z14 Model ZR1 and IBM LinuxONE Rockhopper II models can also be the foundation for an IBM Cloud Private-based offering, creating a “data center in a box” by co-locating storage, networking and other elements in the same physical frame as the mainframe server.

IBM Cloud Private allows users to build open, cloud-native apps with public services and run them anywhere — on public cloud or on existing on-premises systems.

“Overall, this builds on our strategy to help enterprise more easily bridge to the cloud. With enterprises on average using or experimenting with nearly five public or private clouds, the “skinny” mainframe will help enterprises bolster their private cloud strategy,” IBM said.

Today’s news builds on IBM’s recent announcement of the first cloud services with mainframe-level data protection that allow developers and clients to build, deploy and host applications with data protection that encrypts information in memory, in transit and at rest.

Survey Shows Cloud Security Concerns Remain

The release comes as iboss, published the findings of its “Head in the Clouds: Misconceptions Hindering Enterprise Cloud Adoption” report.

The survey of IT decision makers and office workers by the cloud-based web security provider found that 64% of IT decision makers believe the pace of software as a service (SaaS) application adoption is outpacing their cybersecurity capabilities.

Among its findings: that 94 percent of IT decision makers had concerns about moving their organization to the cloud; and that data privacy was the most common concern when moving to the cloud, with 61 percent respondents citing it as a primary concern.

“This survey clearly shows that large organizations are facing many challenges that can be solved with cloud-based cybersecurity solutions, but they are holding back because of avoidable concerns,” said Paul Martini, CEO and co-founder, iboss. “Office workers are clearly demanding access to SaaS applications and remote work capabilities; the challenge now is to secure them effectively.

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