Feeds

IBM preps big iron fiesta

Raising the high-end

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

IBM will try to breath life into its languishing mainframe business during an event next week, if its CFO and marketing material are to be believed.

Big Blue's CFO Mark Loughridge used an earnings conference call this week to declare "the end of what has been a long (zSeries) product cycle" with new gear being displayed next week and delivered in September. In addition, IBM's public relations staff have sent press an invitation to a July 26 event in New York that will provide a "glimpse at the future of computing systems technology." Or in this case the reworking of computing's past.

Some analysts speculate IBM will show a refreshed high-end system with 30 to 40 per cent better performance than the z990 and more scale. The current box allows customers to use 32 processors for data crunching and 16 for system tasks. The upgraded box could let customers tap as many as 38 chips for processing. IBM should put out a real refresh with a whole new mainframe line in 2007.

IBM is also expected to wrap the mainframe box with new software and storage gear, billing the dinosaur as a solid choice to anchor any modern data center. Software updates could include Version 1.7 of z/OS, which IBM has planned for September, and even COBOL developer tools. IBM has a teleconference planned on July 26 to cover WebSphere Developer for zSeries, WebShpere Studio Asset Analyzer, Asset Transformation Workbench, File Manager, Fault Analyzer and Debug Tool Suite.

Another teleconference is planned to go over "the latest systems technologies across servers, storage and networking; how new mainframe capabilities will help enable you to manage workloads, security and resiliency across the infrastructure; and how the mainframe can help you integrate data, transactions and applications across the infrastructure."

A struggling mainframe business has weighed on IBM's last two quarters.

This week, IBM revealed that mainframe sales fell 24 per cent during the second quarter - a drop that hurt Global Services as well. ZSeries sales fell 16 per cent in the first quarter, prompting IBM to initiate a staggering round of layoffs. The Register discovered that numerous UK mainframe support staff lost their jobs as a result of these actions and that IBM offshored the work to South Africa.

IBM frequently blames slow mainframe upgrade cycles for bad quarters. In 2003, it fingered missing encryption software for a slump in mainframe sales and consequently a drop in overall hardware revenue. Now it has whined about worker costs and a reluctance to buy older systems.

You can expect IBM to do its usual routine with the new mainframe and pitch the box as being "as modern as ever" and "the real answer for a hetrogenous data center." The old beasts, however, must compete against ever-improving Unix, Linux and Windows gear, and IBM's mainframe sales over two years indicate that it's a struggle. ®

Related stories

IBM evens the keel in Q2
HDS intros midsize storage controller
IBM UK mainframe workers train their South African replacements
Hitachi caught swapping APIs with IBM . . . again
IBM unleashes Jurassic predator on Japan
IBM's T-REX mainframe just got bigger
IBM keeps the AIX flag flying

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
HP busts out new ProLiant Gen9 servers
Think those are cool? Wait till you get a load of our racks
Like condoms, data now comes in big and HUGE sizes
Linux Foundation lights a fire under storage devs with new conference
Community chest: Storage firms need to pay open-source debts
Samba implementation? Time to get some devs on the job
Silicon Valley jolted by magnitude 6.1 quake – its biggest in 25 years
Did the earth move for you at VMworld – oh, OK. It just did. A lot
Forrester says it's time to give up on physical storage arrays
The physical/virtual storage tipping point may just have arrived
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?