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Retiring greybeards force firms to retrain Java, .NET bods as mainframe sysadmins

New IT grads and Java and .NET jockies are being re-trained to run mainframes by big companies desperate to replace a generation of IT staff giving up work. That’s according to Compuware, who has released a study that says CIOs are growing concerned about the looming skills shortage in their mainframe rooms. They are concerned …
Gavin Clarke, 20 Feb 2014
Roughly 150kg of gold

CA follows the Riverbed, hopes to find cloudy Amazon mainframe gold

In a smart bit of niche identification and gap-filling, stuffy old CA Technologies is getting mainframe backup data to Amazon's cloud by going through Riverbed. With such a nifty move anybody would think CA has new management. Guess what? It has, with new CEO Michael Gregoire spurring the company on to do better. Start out with …
Chris Mellor, 18 Nov 2013
IBM's System zEC12 mainframe

Mm, Linux-on-mainframe admin brains: IBM wolfs down Israeli upstart

Here's something you don't see very often: IBM making an acquisition that has to do with its System z mainframes. This week, Big Blue snapped up Computing Solutions Leaders, which was founded in 2004 and which is located in Herzliya Pituach, Israel. The small company has expertise in managing Linux and virtualization on IBM …
IBM logo

IBM CEO doesn't forget Parris in Power and Mainframe top job lob

Back in April, IBM CEO Ginni Rometty switched the roles of her chief strategist and the head of Systems and Technology Group, and the changes are now rippling through the various IBM server divisions. Four months ago, long-time IBMers Tom Rosamilia and Rod Adkins switched desks. Adkins had been running Systems and Technology …

Unisys cranks Xeon mainframe oomph above legacy CMOS iron

Mainframe maker Unisys has finally done it, pushing the performance of its Xeon-based mainframes in the ClearPath Libra family, which runs its MCP operating system, above the CMOS-based legacy Libra machines, and it won't be long before its Dorado family of OS 2200 mainframes are faster on Xeon iron than on native CMOS …

EMC: We're turning VMAX into mainframe tape KILLER

EMC has turned its VMAX array into a mainframe virtual tape library – the DLm8000, with synchronous replication – in a move that could see tapes banished from mainframe operations. The company last year bought Bus-Tech, a mainframe virtual tape library vendor. EMC has a range of Disk Library for mainframe (DLm) products, …
Chris Mellor, 06 Aug 2012
IBM Watson QA Power7 cluster

IBM's Watson-as-a-cloud: Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's another mainframe

IBM's attempt to spin its supercomputer-cum-TV star Watson into a $1bn business unit may eventually boost Big Blue's bottom line – but going from beating Jeopardy! to defeating cancer is going to be harder than expected. The system's decision engine and advanced natural-language processing technology was launched as a new …
Jack Clark, 10 Jan 2014
An original member of the System/360 family announced in 1964, the Model 50 was the most powerful unit in the medium price range.

IBM warns mainframe shops of 2013 price hike

When your customers pay millions of dollars for your machines and then spend many tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars per month – and sometimes much more – on monthly license fees for your software, you can't just spring a price increase on them one day. You have to give fair warning so they can budget for the price …

Unisys watches ClearPath mainframe sales climb

The latest line of ClearPath mainframes from Unisys, launched in October and based on Intel's latest Xeon E5 processors, sold a bit better than expected in the final quarter of last year. A mainframe selling better than expected is news by definition, and good news for Unisys in particular since the company's top brass has …

Ellison aims his first Oracle 'mainframe' at Big Blue

Larry Ellison has launched the first mainframe-class machine that he can correctly say he made sure came to market, and now he is going to take a run at IBM's mainframe and Unix server businesses. What's more, it looks like he will to be able to make some credible arguments as to why customers running Oracle software – and …
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EC resolves antitrust probe into IBM mainframe biz

IBM rivals now have a better chance of competing with the tech giant in the mainframe market, after the European Commission got Big Blue to loosen its grip on the business. In a legally binding agreement, IBM will make spare parts and technical information "swiftly available". It will do this, the EC added, under commercially …
Kelly Fiveash, 15 Dec 2011

'Mainframe blowout' knackered millions of RBS, NatWest accounts

A hardware fault in one of the Royal Bank of Scotland Group's mainframes prevented millions of customers from accessing their accounts last night. A spokesman said an unspecified system failure was to blame after folks were unable to log into online banking, use cash machines or make payments at the tills for three hours on …
Gavin Clarke, 07 Mar 2013
BMC Software logo

Big mainframe shops embiggen, says BMC survey

Like mainframe-makers IBM and Unisys, BMC Software gets a sizable portion of its $2.12bn in annual revenues – and presumably a disproportionately larger portion of its profits – from those venerable old card wallopers all gussied up as modern servers. This is why BMC has been conducting surveys over the past few years on the …
The Register breaking news

Banged-up Brit hacker hacks into his OWN PRISON'S 'MAINFRAME'

A UK hacker behind bars for computer fraud hacked into his prison's computer system during an IT lesson. Nicholas Webber, 21, of Southsea, Hampshire, was able to access the network after being allowed to join the jail's technology classes. Webber was sent down for five years in May 2011 for masterminding the infamous …
John Leyden, 04 Mar 2013

IBM fuels up zNext mainframe for launch

It looks like Big Blue is getting ready to launch its next-generation mainframe, appropriately enough nicknamed the zNext system, and that it will come to market a little bit earlier than expected. IBM is not hosting a big press event to launch the new machine, but it is having an online webcast with System z bigwigs and a few …

RBS Mainframe Meltdown: A year on, the fallout is still coming

A year ago, RBS experienced its Chernobyl moment – an incident when a case of simple human error by those running critical systems resulted in a crisis. IT staff badly botched routine maintenance of the IBM mainframe handling millions of customers' accounts – a system processing 20 million transactions a day. The mistake was …
Gavin Clarke, 21 Jun 2013
Unisys

Unisys swings to profit on ClearPath mainframe spike

Mainframe maker and services provider Unisys raked in more dough than it might have expected in its second quarter, thanks to a jump in sales of its ClearPath mainframes – and it used the occasion and the cash to prepay some if its debts to get its balance sheet in order. Knocking the balance sheet into shape and stabilizing …
IBM's System zEC12 mainframe

IBM's z12 mainframe engine makes each clock count

When you charge hundreds of thousands of dollars per core for an engine that is designed to run full-out all day doing online transaction processing and all night running single-threaded big batch jobs, you have no choice but to believe in higher clock speeds and doing anything and everything to boost that single-thread …
An original member of the System/360 family announced in 1964, the Model 50 was the most powerful unit in the medium price range.

Easy to use, virus free, secure: Aaah, how I miss my MAINFRAME

Mention mainframe computers today and most people will conjure an image of something like an early analogue synthesiser crossed with a brontosaurus. Think a hulking, room-sized heap of metal and cables with thousands of moving parts that requires an army of people just to keep it plodding along. A no-name PC today would blow a …
Dave Mandl, 16 Nov 2012
fingers pointing at man

EMC trundles out deduping mainframe VTL

EMC is bringing out a mainframe virtual tape library to cover both primary and backup data needs. It is an update of the Bus-Tech MDL-100v, an intermediate box sitting between a mainframe and open systems virtual tape libraries (VTL) such as EMC's Disk Library, a FalconStore software VTL, a Quantum DXi array or a Sepaton array. …
Chris Mellor, 08 Aug 2011
globalisation

Mainframe shops (a little) more optimistic about System z

There are only about 4,000 IBM mainframe shops in the world, but they sure do spend a lot of money. And according to a new survey, they are going to keep on spending it for the foreseeable future. IBM is not the only player with skin in the System z game. BMC Software, which sells provisioning, monitoring, and management …
IBM's System zEC12 mainframe

IBM embiggens iron with System zEnterprise EC12 mainframe

The systems business is largely dominated by x86-based machinery these days, but Big Blue's mainframe unit is hanging in there after five decades and is still a bit of a mint. You put in $1bn every two years for hardware development, as IBM has done with the new System zEnterprise EC12, and you take out $7bn in ridiculously …
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IBM guns down Neon's mainframe accelerator in Texas

The hired legal guns were blazing, and when the smoke cleared, the US District Court for the Western District of Texas, located in Austin, granted a permanent injunction in favor of IBM in a long-running lawsuit Neon Enterprise Software, killing the controversial zPrime mainframe acceleration program. The zPrime tool was …
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IBM's mainframe upgrade cycle weakens

With IBM missing Wall Street's expectations for revenue growth in its third quarter by $103m, a sell-off in after-hours trading was already underway and will no doubt be in full swing when the market opens up tomorrow. Wall Street just doesn't get Big Blue. What the Street's moneymen don't realize is that IBM doesn't care about …
fingers pointing at man

EMC buys into mainframe VTL market

EMC is the Dyson of storage companies, hoovering up other storage companies with no loss of appetite however many it buys. It has just sucked up mainframe virtual tape library (VTL) supplier Bus-Tech. Mainframes can use tape for backup data and also during normal operations with a tape library connected by FICON or ESCON channel …
Chris Mellor, 11 Nov 2010
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IBM re-ups mainframe interface licensing with EMC

IBM would prefer to sell its own DS or XIV series of disk arrays to its System z mainframe customers, but mainframe shops sometimes have other ideas, such as buying Symmetrix DMX or VMAX arrays. And that's why Big Blue has extended an interoperability and technology licensing agreement with disk array rival EMC. Under the multi- …
globalisation

Oracle adds tiered storage to mainframe VTL

Oracle has boosted its mainframe virtual tape library capacity by adding in a second tier of disk storage. Sun, as it then was, announced its Virtual Storage Manager (VSM) version 5 in May last year. This is a virtual tape library (VTL) sitting between a mainframe, or open system servers, and a tape library and storing up to …
Chris Mellor, 28 Oct 2010
globalisation

IBM preps mini-mainframe for launch

The word on the street is that Big Blue is getting set to launch the so-called Business Class iteration of its System z mainframe, a midrange-class machine to complement last year's System zEnterprise 196 server. The announcement is set for some time in July, most likely in the first week after the 4th of July holiday in the …

Have you thought about using a mainframe for that?

Data centre managers and IT operations staff in large enterprises are now faced with a bewildering array of demands from their users, who take for granted that systems will work without any form of service interruption, planned or otherwise. At the same time the business expectations are for new services to be delivered rapidly …
Tony Lock, 28 Mar 2011

The mainframe comes of age ... again?

Economic pressure has led to more finance directors and CFOs scrutinising expenditure to a painstaking level of detail. The aim is to ensure that IT can deliver what the business needs at the lowest cost while still meeting the never-diminishing expectations of the board and shareholders. As a result, in-depth examinations into …
Tony Lock, 31 Mar 2011
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IBM faces mainframe biz European antitrust probe

IBM faces yet another antitrust headache today, after French mainframe open source outfit TurboHercules filed a complaint with European competition watchdogs. TurboHercules has accused Big Blue of denying customers the right to run IBM's mainframe operating system on anything other than IBM iron. The Paris-based company filed …
Kelly Fiveash, 23 Mar 2010

Exploiting the mainframe for new workload requirements

IT architects and CIOs have a number of factors to take into consideration when it comes to selecting where to run workloads and how to design systems for efficient operations over extended periods of time. Chief amongst these are the nature of the workloads themselves, the operating systems on which they are supported and the …
Tony Lock, 29 Mar 2011
Fujitsu SoC

New Fujitsu SoC designs shrink supers' power slurp

Fujitsu is pimping system-on-chip (SoC) designs for two new supers it says get 40 per cent more processing punch while slurping half as much power. The company also says its GS21 2400 and GS21 2600 need 70 per cent less data centre space. The SoC devices at the heart of the two servers consolidate 14 chipsets, Fujitsu says. …
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Fed budget cuts, lower mainframe sales hit Unisys

Lower overall spending by Uncle Sam and a slowdown in ClearPath mainframe purchases combined to push Unisys to a loss in the second quarter. Sales were off 9.6 per cent in Q2 to $937.2m, and the company posted a net loss of $11.6m compared to a gain of $120.2m in the year-ago period. For the first six months of 2011, revenues at …
fingers pointing at man

IBM diligently adds mainframe dedupe

IBM mainframes can now send backed-up data to a deduping virtual tape library instead of physical tape. Big Blue has combining its Diligent deduplication and virtual tape library functionality in the TS7680 ProtecTIER deduplication gateway. No changes are needed to backup processes on on the Z/OS mainframe but some modification …
Chris Mellor, 24 Feb 2010

Oh no, RBS has gone titsup again... but is it JUST BAD LUCK?

And here we go again, another IT systems failure at RBS. RBS appears to have been having a remarkable run of high-profile core-system failures, but I suspect that it has been rather unlucky or at least everyone else has been lucky. Ross McEwan, the new chief executive of RBS admitted to us in a canned statement that "decades of …
StorageBod, 05 Dec 2013
The Register breaking news

BMC reveals 'free money' mainframe and DB2 tools

Mainframe shops that are counting their pennies are going to catch a financial break from one of the suppliers of performance monitoring and management tools for the box. BMC Software has reworked its various mainframe tools so that some of the code underlying them executes on IBM's specialty engines instead of on generic …
homeless man with sign

Neon to take mainframe complaints to Europe

It looks like some more lawyers are going to make some more money off IBM's mainframe business. Neon Enterprise Software, the company that created the zPrime tool for shifting mainframe workloads to lower-cost zIIP and zAAP specialty engines on IBM's System z servers, announced today that it intends to file a compliant with the …
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IBM zEnterprise 196 mainframe due July 22

The System z11 mainframe announcement date has been set for July 22, as expected, and Rod Adkins, general manager of IBM's Systems and Technology Group, and Steve Mills, general manager of Software Group, will host a shindig in New York debuting Big Blue's so-called "system of systems." As El Reg already reported, the System z11 …
cloud

IBM heaves new System z minis at mainframe shops

In the hope of continuing the System z upgrade boom that started last summer, Big Blue has rounded out its lineup with a midrange – what IBM calls "Business Class" – mainframe, the System zEnterprise 114. The machine is more or less what the rumors of two weeks ago hinted it would be – although it turns out there are two models …
For Sale sign detail

Unisys floats mainframe cloud

A mainframe cloud may seem oxymoronic like a lead Zeppelin ("a" included on purpose), or intuitively obvious (given the virtualization and metering capabilities that have been in mainframes for decades). But Unisys has nonetheless fluffed up a mainframe cloud for its ClearPath mainframe customers. The ClearPath Cloud Development …

Beware Abe Lincoln-looking code pros trying to sell you on LOBDOPs

Time spent at the QCon software developer conference and exhibition in London this week comes with certain guarantees. There will always be free T-shirts on every stand, gummy bears or jellybeans if you’re lucky, and a high footfall put down by the serious coding cognoscenti. And mixing among the Abe Lincoln “beard but no …
globalisation

EC launches formal probes into IBM's mainframe biz

Antitrust authorities at the European Commission have been listening to clone mainframe seller T3 Technologies' cries after IBM ate and killed clone mainframe maker Platform Solutions a few years back. Complaints from TurboHercules, a supplier of a mainframe hardware emulator for x64 servers that IBM refuses to license software …
Anthony Wedgwood Benn MP

Tony Benn, daddy of Brit IT biz ICL and pro-tech politician, dies at 88

Tony Benn, the modernising Labour MP who tried to pit British technology against US giants has died at the age of 88. It was Benn, a minister in two Labour governments during the 1960s and 1970s, who created ICL (International Computers Limited) to take on the growing might of IBM. It was mainframes at dawn in the post-war …
Gavin Clarke, 14 Mar 2014

We saw you admire that rack: UK server sales are finally recovering

Crack open the champers, suppliers - the UK server market actually GREW in Q2, ending five consecutive quarters of misery for those left brushing the dust off their systems. Factory revenues went up four per cent in calendar Q2 to $501m as legacy systems rebounded due to increased project work that followed mainframe product …
Paul Kunert, 19 Sep 2013
cloud

Neon updates zPrime mainframe accelerator

Neon Enterprise Software, the cheeky provider of the zPrime systems software that allows production work normally running on IBM z/OS mainframe engines to be dispatched to cheaper zIIP and zAAP co-processors on those mainframes, has tweaked the tool so it can now offload even more work to those cheaper engines. The zPrime tool …
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Unisys lands $187m Pentagon mainframe deal

Mainframe maker Unisys wants a little good news ahead of reporting its fourth quarter 2009, and the US Department of Defense was happy to oblige. The Defense Information Systems Agency, the IT arm of the Pentagon, today inked a deal to shell out $187m to provide managed services for DISA's ClearPath mainframes. The Pentagon is …
homeless man with sign

EDS mainframe goes titsup, crashes RBS cheque system

HP managers are reaping the harvest of their deep cost-cutting at EDS, in the form of a massive mainframe failure that crippled some very large clients, including the taxpayer-owned bank RBS. An IBM Z10 at EDS's Stockley Park site, west of London, fell over this week after vital microcode fixes* had not been applied, because all …
Leo 3

How Brit computer maker beat IBM's S/360 - and Soviet spies

IBM announced the System 360 in 1964 and started selling its family of modern mainframes 12 months later. But how do you outsell a problem like IBM? The S/360 cost IBM $5bn to develop, overshooting its estimated budget in 1962 by more than $4bn. Yet IBM need not have worried. Such was rate of sales for the S/360 family that …
Gavin Clarke, 09 Apr 2014

Unisys to forge new Xeon iron with homegrown s-Par partitioning

Mainframe maker Unisys is going to take another run at being an x86 system provider, and has just announced a partnership with Intel to bring some of its ClearPath mainframe goodies to a line of Xeon servers that will be launched later this year. Unisys was formed decades ago from the merger of mainframe makers Sperry and …