New IBM Initiative Eases Move to System z Mainframe

Targets Sun, HP customers; company says System z market share has almost doubled in last ten years

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IBM today announced new services and programs to help more companies lower costs and reduce inefficiency by migrating from Sun and HP servers to IBM’s System z, particularly on the Linux platform. The new Server Consolidation and Migration Services offering, which includes patent-pending technology, can dramatically reduce the time and effort in moving applications from siloed, inefficiently used servers to a more cost-effective and easier-to-manage z infrastructure.

IBM also announced a program, called z Rewards, that offers financial incentives to help customers take advantage of these migration services. New pricing is available for clients moving from SUN and HP to System z.

IBM’s introduction of The Server Consolidation and Migration Services reflects continued investment by IBM in Linux on System z. Nearly 2,800 of the 5,000 unique applications available on the System z platform are Linux-based. Linux accounted for about half of the roughly 1000 new or updated applications produced for the IBM mainframe in 2008. More than 40 percent of new Z customers last year installed Linux.

The System z Linux environment has proven popular with businesses as a means to consolidate workloads and deploy new mission-critical mainframe applications that are well suited for Linux. Often, these Linux applications on System z work in concert with the z/OS environment to enable an end-to-end solution within the same mainframe.

The Server Consolidation and Migration Services originated in IBM’s Global Technology Services unit and has been used successfully in IBM’s own data center consolidation efforts.

By replacing slow, manual methods with an automated solution, The Server Consolidation and Migration Services can reduce server consolidation and application migration efforts from months to weeks.

Under the new financial incentives, companies that purchase or upgrade to a new qualifying z10 Enterprise Class or Business Class mainframe in order to consolidate competitive Sun and HP systems can earn points that can be applied to IBM migration services. To earn z Rewards points, companies purchase a qualifying z system from IBM or an authorized IBM Business Partner. The company tells IBM about the workloads that will be moved, and then will be asked to complete the z Rewards Customer Agreement. Interested parties should contact their local System z sales representative or Authorized System z Business Partner for maximum rewards eligibility.

The new offerings complement IBM’s expansion in September 2008 of its Migration Factory program for IBM Power Systems to System z. That program provides clients considering a move to System z with services that aid in their evaluation process. The new Server Consolidation and Migration Services offering provides new technologies and services to make such migrations easier. In the last year, IBM already has migrated more than 150 customers across a variety of industries worldwide from competitive systems to IBM mainframes.

Competitive wins like these helped IBM System z market share nearly double, from 17 percent to 32 this decade, according to IDC. Over that same period, HP has remained flat while Sun has lost share. Last year, System z Linux MIPS grew by 77 percent, with more than 1,300 System z customers benefiting from that environment.