IDC Survey Finds System z Shops Plan to Increase Investments in Hardware, Software Over Five Years

Finds growing adoption of blended/hybrid approach to computing

Despite the economic downturn, nearly half of the 300 data center managers in System z shops surveyed by IDC plan to increase their investments in mainframe hardware and software, a new survey from the research firm reports.

IDC's study reveals ITs growing adoption of a blended/hybrid approach to computing with IBM System z. "Customers are finding that new workloads, including Linux-based and Java-based workloads, can leverage the mainframe's built-in security and high levels of availability, by running them on mainframe specialty processors, such as the IFL, zIIP and zAAP processors," said Jean S. Bozman, research vice president with IDC's Enterprise Platforms Group, in a prepared statement, citing lower licensing costs and a move to carry legacy workloads on to the System z platform.

IDC also found respondents are planning changes in their storage environment, principally in larger capacities to accommodate increased application usage. Workload growth is behind this trend as well; according to Laura DuBois, program director, Storage Software, "Usage growth will be driven by a range of new workloads coming onto the mainframe platform, and from applications that need access to mainframe-hosted databases."

Respondents still see the mainframe as "a key element of centrally managed corporate data and high value computing workloads" that provides "a layer of highly controllable enterprise management software." Respondents who plan to increase their investments in System z over the next 2-5 years say the "system's high availability, reliability, and security for mission-critical applications" is the reason.

The study also found that processing power and system reliability/uptime were the leading reasons System z shops would host applications on the mainframe. Favorable pricing was the top reason for moving applications away from the mainframe.