IBM z15 Mainframe










PDF version of this report
You must have Adobe Acrobat reader to view, save, or print PDF files. The
reader is available for free
download
.

IBM z15
Mainframe

by James G. Barr

Docid: 00011214

Publication Date: 2201

Report Type: PRODUCT

Preview

While often dismissed as a legacy technology supplanted in the 1990s by
client/server computing and in the 2010s by cloud computing, mainframe
computing remains a major contributor to large enterprise operations,
serving as the “backbone of on-premise data centers” and performing the
computational heavy lifting required by data-intensive industries like
banking, insurance, and retail. Today’s top-of-the-line mainframe is
the IBM z15.

Report Contents:

Description

[return to top of this
report]

Vendor

International Business Machines (IBM)
Headquarters
1 New Orchard Road
Armonk, NY 10504-1722
Phone: (914) 499-1900
(800) 426-4968
Web: https://www.ibm.com/
Type of Vendor: Computer and Communications
Hardware, Software, and Services
Founded: 1914
Service Areas: Global
Stock Symbol: IBM (NYSE)

While often dismissed as a legacy technology supplanted in the 1990s by
client/server computing and in the 2010s by cloud computing, mainframe
computing remains a major contributor to large enterprise operations,
serving as the “backbone of on-premise data centers"1 and
performing the computational heavy lifting required by data-intensive
industries like banking, insurance, and retail.

According to IBM, the unrivaled leader in mainframe computing for the
past half-century, “mainframes are high-performance computers with large
amounts of memory and processors that process billions of simple
calculations and transactions in real time.”2 By one
estimate, “[one] mainframe can process 2.5 billion transactions in a
single day, which is the equivalent of handling 100 Cyber Mondays – and
over $790 billion – on one system.”3

IBM Z

Representing the latest generation of IBM mainframes, the IBM Z line
originated in 2000 with the zSeries 900 and has evolved to the present
day IBM z15. Built for performance and reliability, the “Z” in IBM Z
is derived from the principle of zero downtime.4

IBM z15

In assessing the capabilities of the IBM z15, analyst Zahar Talab
observes that “[with up to] 190 processors, 40TB of RAM, and 60 PCIe
control units across 12 PCIe I/O drawers, we can say that [the] IBM z15
[Model T01] is the world champion in mainframe competitions.”5

The IBM z15 is currently available in the following machine types and
models:

  • Machine Type 8561, Model T01, Features Max34, Max71, Max108,
    Max145, and Max190
  • Machine Type 8562, Model T02, Features Max4, Max13, Max21,
    Max31, and Max65 6

Note: The “n” in Maxn refers to the number of “customer
configurable cores” or processors.

The IBM z15 has been designed to facilitate cloud operations, with IBM
noting that “80 percent of enterprise applications and services have not
yet moved to the cloud because of struggles with flexibility,
connectivity, security, and management across multi-cloud environments.”7 The IBM z15 should serve to expedite cloud adoption and improve cloud
performance.

Prominent IBM z15 Features

Pervasive Encryption – Claiming that “[cryptography is in the DNA
of [the] IBM Z family,” Big Blue asserts that Pervasive Encryption “can
dramatically simplify data protection and reduce the costs … associated
with regulatory compliance. By using simple policy controls, z15
pervasive computing streamlines data protection for mission critical:

  • “IBM Db2 for z/OS
  • “IBM IMS
  • “Virtual Storage Access Method (VSAM) data sets.”

Data Privacy Passports – In addition to enforcing security and
privacy protections for z-resident data, Data Privacy Passports also
safeguard the data transiting operating platforms during extract,
transform, and load (ETL) operations.

Linux on IBM Z – Optimized for open source software (and the open
source software community), Linux on IBM Z supports familiar products
like:

  • Python
  • Scala
  • Spark
  • MongoDB
  • PostgreSQL
  • MariaDB8

Applications

[return to top of this
report]

Figure 1. IBM z15

Figure 1. IBM z15

According to recent statistics, mainframes are employed by:

  • 92 of the world’s top 100 banks
  • All of the top 10 insurers
  • 18 of the top 25 retailers
  • 71 percent of Fortune 500 firms

A Compuware survey reveals that 57 percent of enterprises boasting
mainframes run more than half of their critical applications on the
so-called “big iron.” Moreover, 72 percent of customer-facing
applications are dependent on mainframe processing.9

Despite their primary mission as “tireless transaction
processors” for financial and other business data, mainframes are adapting
to new responsibilities like processing rapidly proliferating:

  • Internet of Things (IoT) data
  • Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) data
  • Telemetry capture data
  • High-frequency trading data
  • Big data analytics data
  • Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) data

As Rocket Software points out, “This information needs to be processed
and used at neck-breaking speed to keep production lines running and
end-user applications responding.”10

Environment

[return to top of this
report]

The IBM z15 supports the following operating systems:

  • z/OS – V2.4, 2.3, and 2.2
  • z/VM – V7.2, 7.1, and 6.4
  • z/VSE – V6.2
  • z/TPF – V1.1
  • Linux on Z – Partners are Red Hat, Canonical, and SUSE
  • KVM hypervisor for IBM Z – Offered by Linux distribution
    partners

Support

[return to top of this
report]

IBM offers a variety of enterprise support options for IBM Z. Primary options are detailed below.

Table 1. Hardware Support
Support Option Client Need Features Support Goals fee
Warranty and Maintenance Basic business protection, non-critical care Onsite hardware repair or parts exchange / Cognitive issue
resolution / Augmented reality fixes
Next business day, 9×5 Included with system
Warranty and Maintenance Service Upgrades Strong business protection, for production systems Extends/replaces warranty / Same day response / 24×7 response Repair: Same day on-site, 24×7 / Parts Exchange: Next business
day, 9×5
Custom pricing, 12 month minimum
Table 2. Software Support
Support Option Client Need Features Case Severity Response Goals fee
zIPLA (International Program License) Subscription and Support Strong business protection, for production systems Fixes and upgrades / IBM Support Community / Embedded Watson
features / 24×7 support access / Case severity assignment
Product issues only: Severity 1: 2 hours (24×7) / Severity 2: 4
business hours / Severity 3 and 4: Next business day
Custom pricing
MLC (Monthly License Charge) Support Strong business protection, for production systems Fixes / IBM Support Community / Embedded Watson features / 24×7
support access for product issues / Case severity assignment
Product issues only: Severity 1: 2 hours (24×7) / Severity 2: 4
business hours / Severity 3 and 4: Next business day
Included with MLC license
Softwarexcel Enterprise Edition (Prime and Full versions)
USA Only /
Requires zIPLA Subscription and Support or MLC Support
Enhanced business protection, for sensitive production systems Fixes / IBM Support Community / Embedded Watson features / 24×7
support access for product issues / Case severity assignment /
Premium response in prime shift for product issues / Support access
for Q&A / Remote screen viewing
Product issues
1 business hour Premium Response –
Severity 1: 2 hours (24×7)
Severity 2: 4 business hours
Severity 3 and 4: Next business day
Q&A
Prime version: 2 business hours
Full version: 2 hours, 24×7
Custom pricing

Pricing

[return to top of this
report]

For IBM Z pricing and availability, please call IBM’s Customer Support
Center at 866-261-3023.

Competitors

[return to top of this
report]

IBM’s primary competitor in the mainframe arena is IBM itself.

According to Enlyft market analysis, IBM Z systems command 82 percent of
the overall mainframe market.

The IBM 3090 occupies second place at 13 percent, followed by the IBM
ES/9000, IBM 3084, Unisys ClearPath Dorado, and Unisys ClearPath Dorado,
each with less than five percent of mainframe share.

[return to top of this
report]

References

[return to top of this
report]

1 “What Is a Mainframe?” IBM Corporation. 2021.

2 “The Rockstar in Your Data Center: The IBM Z Mainframe.”
Rocket Software, Inc. 2021:5.

3 Ibid.

4 Zaher Talab. “What is IBM Z?” TechnologyAdvice. October 6,
2021.

5 Ibid.

6 Octavian Lascu, Bill White, John Troy, Jannie Houlbjerg,
Kazuhiro Nakajima, Paul Schouten, Anna Shugol, Frank Packheiser, Hervey
Kamga, and Bo Xu. “IBM z15 (8561) Technical Guide.” IBM Corp. August
2020:1.

7 Ibid. p.2.

8 Ibid. p.3-4.

9 Jani Virkkula. “The Mainframe Isn’t Going Anywhere – How Can
We Secure It?” SSH.com. September 25, 2020.

10 “The Rockstar in Your Data Center: The IBM Z Mainframe.”
Rocket Software, Inc. 2021:5.

About the Author

[return to top of this
report]

James G. Barr is a leading business continuity analyst
and business writer with more than 40 years’ IT experience. A member of
“Who’s Who in Finance and Industry,” Mr. Barr has designed, developed, and
deployed business continuity plans for a number of Fortune 500 firms. He
is the author of several books, including How to Succeed in Business
BY Really Trying
, a member of Faulkner’s Advisory Panel, and a
senior editor for Faulkner’s Security Management Practices.
Mr. Barr can be reached via e-mail at jgbarr@faulkner.com.

[return to top of this
report]