IBM has designed the latest version of the mainframe z13, has been engineered to cope with the huge volume of data and transactions generated by
people using smartphones and tablets.
“This is a mainframe for the mobile digital economy,” said Tom Rosamilia, senior vice president in charge of IBM’s systems business, which includes mainframes. “It’s a computer for the bow wave of mobile transactions coming our way.”
IBM has done a good job of revamping the mainframe to handle new workloads. Modern mainframes, for example, run a lot of open-source software, like the Linux operating system.
The mainframe is not a growth market for IBM. But maintaining the mainframe franchise is a strategic imperative for IBM, giving it financial ballast and time as it pursues new opportunities.
The new mainframe has a host of technical improvements over its predecessor, including three times the memory, faster processing and greater data-handling capability. IBM spent $1 billion to develop the z13, and that research generated 500 new patents, including some for encryption intended to improve the security of mobile computing.
Much of the new technology is designed for real-time analysis in business. For example, he said, the mainframe system can allow automated fraud prevention while a purchase is being made on a smart phone.
In developing the z13, IBM worked with 60 companies and government agencies, mainly longtime mainframe customers. But IBM won a convert
in Ronald J. Peri, chief executive of Radixx International. Radixx, based in Orlando, Fla., runs the computerized reservation systems for 40 airlines, mostly smaller and midsize carriers outside the United States.