IBM Launches z13 Mainframe — Most Powerful and Secure System Ever Built

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IBM NEWBM today announced the z13, expected to deliver scale and economics together with real-time encryption and analytics to meet the expectations of consumers for speed and safety for trillions of transactions in the mobile economy.

The z13 system culminates a $1 billion investment, five years of development, exploits the innovation of more than 500 new patents and represents a collaboration with over 60 clients – underscoring IBM’s singular commitment to providing higher-value, innovative technologies to clients.

IBM’s new mainframe provides unprecedented new capabilities, including the ability to process 2.5 billion transactions a day – equivalent of 100 Cyber Mondays every day of the year.  z13 transactions are persistent, protected and auditable from end-to-end adding assurance as mobile transactions explode  — estimated to grow to 40 trillion mobile transactions per day by 2025.

z13 is the first system to double the speed of real-time encryption technologies for faster and safer mobile transactions and also boasts embedded analytics providing real-time insights on mobile transactions 17X faster than any other method at a fraction of the cost.

The rapid growth of mobile applications has created consumers who expect mobile transactions to be fast and seamless – regardless of which mobile payment platform, retailer, or financial organization is providing the service. As a result, businesses are being forced to evaluate whether their IT infrastructures can support mobile applications that meet and exceed these consumer expectations — or face the potential of losing clients to competing businesses.

“Every time a consumer makes a purchase or hits refresh on a smart phone, it can create a cascade of events on the back end of the computing environment. The z13 is designed to handle billions of transactions for the mobile economy.  Only the IBM mainframe can put the power of the world’s most secure datacenters in the palm of your hand,” said Tom Rosamilia, senior vice president, IBM Systems. “Consumers expect fast, easy and secure mobile transactions. The implication for business is the creation of a secure, high performance infrastructure with sophisticated analytics.”

As mobile adoption grows, consumers are driving exponentially larger numbers of mobile transactions. Each of these mobile transactions triggers a cascade of events across computing systems. These events include comparisons to past purchases, data encryption and decryption, bank to bank reconciliations, and customer loyalty discounts. This cascade of events causes a so-called “starburst effect” – where a single transaction can trigger as few as four or as many as 100 additional system interactions.

Consequently, the starburst effect creates security vulnerabilities at each interaction point. In fact, 71 percent of CIOs and IT managers surveyed by IBM indicated that security is their most significant mobile enterprise challenge
When combined with IBM MobileFirst solutions, the z13 delivers enhanced performance, availability, analytics and security that will drive optimal mobile user experiences.
The z13 will feature the world’s fastest microprocessor, 2X faster than the most common server processors, 300 percent more memory, 100 percent more bandwidth and vector processing analytics to speed mobile transactions. As a result, the z13 transaction engine is be capable of analyzing transactions in “real time” and will be able to help prevent fraud as it is occurring allowing financial institutions to halt the transaction before the consumer is impacted.

IBM has designed the z13 to integrate real-time scoring and guarantees this capability as a feature of the system. This scoring can be used for fraud detection on 100 percent of a client’s business transaction. [4]

In addition to assistance with fraud prevention, businesses looking to enhance their customer loyalty programs will be able to use new z13 capabilities to add more personalization by gaining a real-time view of a client’s purchasing habits to offer up-sell and cross-sell promotions before they leave the store — and in some cases before they even enter.

The new mainframe includes new support for Hadoop, enabling unstructured data to be analyzed in the system. Other analytics advances include faster acceleration of queries by adding DB2 BLU for Linux providing an in-memory database, enhancements to the IBM DB2 analytics accelerator, and vastly improved performance for mathematically intense analytics workloads.

The z13 is the ideal cloud architecture, legendary for its ability to scale and reliably and securely handle multiple workloads. In a scale out model, it is capable or running up to 8,000 virtual servers — more than 50 virtual servers per core allowing for lower software, energy and facilities costs.

As part of today’s announcement, IBM will also unveil a preview of new z/OS software that delivers advanced analytic and data serving capabilities.  This new operating system expands the ability of z13 to process in-memory analytics and provide analysis on mobile transactions, helping clients to further extend mainframe enterprise applications to the mobile user.