IBM Unveils World's Most Sophisticated Mid-Size Mainframe

IBM celebrates 40 years of mainframe technology with launch of new mainframe and storage systems

ARMONK, N.Y.--April 7, 2004--IBM today introduced the IBM eServer zSeries 890, an incredibly powerful mainframe for medium-sized enterprise customers, extending the unprecedented capabilities of the company's flagship IBM eServer zSeries 990 mainframe to mid-sized companies, at a lower entry cost and size.

On the 40th anniversary of the revolutionary IBM System/360 mainframe, IBM unveiled its newest mainframe system, the z890 -- introducing new breakthrough technology for simplifying the IT environment and pricing updates for medium sized businesses. In addition, the company also introduced the IBM TotalStorage Enterprise Storage Server 750, bringing the world-class enterprise capabilities of its larger storage system to a new customer base. Together the new mainframe and storage systems allow mid-size customers to consolidate and simplify their environment using industry-leading technology.

The z890 is based on the z990 technology and delivers exceptional levels of flexibility, virtualization, automation, security and scalability. The top of the line z890 has almost twice the processing power compared to the top of the line z800 as a result of a near 100 percent increase in the capacity of each general purpose central processor. While the z890 can provide a significant increase in capacity over the z800, because of the remarkable flexibility, it begins at a size that is more than 30 percent smaller in capacity than the smallest z800 server. IBM is also offering the z890 as a single model with 28 capacity levels - allowing customers to more closely match server capacity with their individual business requirements.

"The z890 provides a new, extreme level of flexibility never before seen on mainframes," said Erich Clementi, general manager of zSeries, IBM Systems and Technology Group. "Today, the superior technology of IBM's mainframe and storage can be sized and priced to meet the needs of mid-sized customers who are seeking to build on demand infrastructures and lower their total cost of ownership."

New Breakthrough Technology

IBM continues the innovation established on the mainframe by adding new industry leadership capabilities for both the z890 and z990, including:

  • Breakthrough Technology: To integrate web applications on zSeries, the new zSeries Application Assist Processor (zAAP) is an industry first, delivering a specialized z/OS Java execution environment for customers seeking to integrate Java technology-based web applications along side existing core-business applications and data on the same server platform. With US pricing to be set at $125,000 (USD) per processor, zAAPs can help increase overall system productivity, simplify server infrastructure, and improve operational efficiencies, while helping to lower the overall cost of computing for Java applications on the zSeries platform.

  • On/Off Capacity on Demand: Enhanced to now include support for Integrated Coupling Facilities and zAAPs, On/Off CoD provides additional temporary capacity for Parallel Sysplex clustering and Java workloads - offering ultimate scalability to respond to surges in demand.

  • Simplifying the infrastructure: An OSA Express Integrated Console Controller can eliminate the need for some peripheral hardware and provides up to 120 console session connections.

  • Improved Networking: Enhancements on the z990 include the capability to support up to four logical channel subsystems, up to 1024 I/O channels and improved networking connectivity - helping IT professionals simplify and manage even the most demanding infrastructure complexities in a security-rich environment.

IBM Storage Enters New Water

IBM's new ESS Model 750 is designed to help customers in the midrange leverage many of the reliability and advanced functions of the Enterprise Storage Server while meeting the smaller capacity and price needs of new mainframe and other system servers. The ESS 750 offers:

  • Non-disruptive Upgrades - Starting at just 1.1 terabyte with the ability to expand to more than 4.6 terabytes capacity, the new system provides capability for "non-disruptive" upgrades when needed in a non-disruptive format.

  • Automated Features -- With more than 20 autonomic features, the new system allows mainframe jobs to execute in parallel and queue management is moved to the ESS from the server. These features are designed to help improve performance and storage administrator productivity.

  • zSeries Performance Enablers -- With Multiple Allegiance, simultaneous logical volume access is expanded across multiple zSeries or S/390 servers. This function, along with Parallel Access Volumes, enables the ESS to process a high number of I/Os in parallel, helping to dramatically improve performance for zSeries servers and enabling greater use of large volumes.

  • Business Continuance - The new system supports a rich set of copy services functions and management tools that can be used to build solutions to help meet business continuance requirements.

IBM Helps Build Open Source Community and Skills

IBM is also announcing that it is delivering to Marist College its flagship IBM eServer zSeries 990 server to be used to help further develop Linux applications and skills on the mainframe. This continues IBM's commitment to the Mainframe Charter. In addition to delivering on innovative technology and providing value to customers, IBM is also focused on developing the community of mainframe users.

The mainframe will be used in Marist College's new lab opening in the summer in association with the Open Source Development Lab (OSDL), a global consortium dedicated to accelerating the adoption of Linux. Through Marist College, Linux developers will have remote access to the mainframe to run qualified projects and test Linux software for possible inclusion in the Linux kernel. Enabling a community of users to develop and test Linux on the mainframe will both further improve Linux as an enterprise operating system, while building a pool of required skills.

"Marist College's designation as an OSDL lab is an important strategic move in support of further innovation, research and competitiveness in open source development," said Marist President Dennis J. Murray, an early supporter of the Linux movement. "The lab, powered by IBM's powerful zSeries 990 server, will allow us to work with businesses to help develop products that will spur economic growth and enhance their competitive edge."

New Software

IBM is also previewing the next version of the operating system, z/OS 1.6, planned to be available in September 2004. z/OS 1.6 will contain many enhancements for integrating Java workloads in the z/OS environment, including support for zAAP, improved workload management for web serving applications and improved IP network availability capabilities. In z/OS 1.6 IBM also plans to deliver a 64-bit application environment for both C/C++ and JAVA SDK (statement of direction) for increased scale and simplified porting of applications.

A new version of z/VM has been announced today with virtualization enhancements for hosting Linux with improved networking, security and open device (SCSI) support. The price of z/VM V5 is being reduced by over 50 percent from the previous version in US dollars.

IBM is also previewing z/VSE V3R1, the next generation of VSE for zSeries customers, with plans for open device (SCSI) support. The z/VSE operating system executes in 31-bit mode.

Migration Services for New Customers

Using the experience gained from more than 2000 customers a nd over 9000 migrations, IBM is also announcing migration services for zSeries Software tools that include packaged assessment, installation and customization services and education along with training services to help customers ensure smoother migration from non-IBM products to more cost effective IBM alternatives. IBM offers nearly 150 zSeries tools and utilities to help customers meet the needs of their IT infrastructure.

The new z890 and z990 enhancements are available on May 28. The zAAP hardware feature is planned to be available on June 30, and software support with z/OS 1.6 is planned to be available in September. To take advantage of the benefits of zAAPs, both hardware and software components are required. The TotalStorage Enterprise Storage Server 750 is available in May.

IBM is aggressively positioning both the z890 and ESS Model 750 in terms of price. For example, customers can anticipate actual street pricing for the ESS as low as $125,000 for some base configurations. This would represent as much as a 40% reduction in the entry price point for the IBM TotalStorage Enterprise Storage Server Family. Street pricing for the z890 is anticipated to be similarly attractive.

Information on IBM eServer is available at IBM news releases and fact sheets are available at The IBM eServer brand consists of the established IBM e-business logo with the following descriptive term "server" following it. The following are either trademarks or registered of International Business Machines Corporation in the United States or other countries or both: IBM, the IBM e-business logo, zSeries. All others are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies.