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Ah, that new 'baby' mainframe smell: IBM shows off z13s

Faster security baked into Quite Big Iron

IBM’s new entry-level mainframe, the z13s, makes its debut next month and the company’s press blurb makes for instructive reading, not least because it has very little to say about the actual spec.

Instead, there is much enthusiasm about the security features and services assembled for the z Systems server family.

The server contains updated hardware-accelerated cryptographic coprocessor cards with faster processors and more memory, providing encryption at twice the speed, and at lower transaction cost of older servers.

In addition, IBM has integrated multi-factor authentication in the z/OS operating system for the first time. Previously, it was available as add-on software only, and the integration is expected to deliver better stability and performance.

The company is integrating a number of IBM Security offerings to safeguard z Systems, especially useful in hybrid cloud set-ups, the company says. The services encompass identity management and governance and data protection and monitoring.

Also, it is offering a threat monitoring service developed by IBM Research, the zSystems Cyber Security Analytics service - on a beta, no-charge basis. This software can help identify malicious activity by learning user behaviour over time.

Last and maybe not least, the company has announced three new IT security partners: BlackRidge Technology, Forcepoint and RSM Partners.

The z13s goes on sale in March and IBM has a range of financing deals, although as always with mainframes, it is not vulgar enough to discuss the actual price. ®

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