Just when rest of the world thought that mainframes are going to take an exit soon, IBM released it’s new line of Mainframe System – z13 which can process 2.5 billion transactions per day. That’s actually equivalent to 100 Cyber Mondays every day. It took 5 years of research and development, $1 billion in funding and over 500 patents to develop one of the most sophisticated systems in the world.
The system has been developed keeping in mind the increasing number of mobile transactions each year. The main competitor for IBM’s mainframe systems are the new converged systems of infrastructure solutions from the likes of Dell, HP and Oracle. It is estimated there will be 40 trillion mobile transactions per day by 2025. This is where the z13’s mammoth processing power comes in along with added security.
Features of the z13
Technically, it’s one of the most sophisticated and complex systems ever created.
- Capacity to process 2.5 billion transactions per day
- Real time encryption of all mobile transactions at any scale
- Provides real-time insights on all transactions
- Real time fraud detection on 100% of all business transactions
- Delivers on the fly analytic insights that are 17 times faster than competitive systems
- Includes new support for Hadoop for big data analytics
- Supports 8,000 virtual servers on a single system with 50 virtual servers per core
However, the real challenge for IBM lies in finding customers for the new system. Though IBM has not disclosed the price tag of z13, the older systems had a price tag range between $75,000 and $2,000,000.
The main advantage of using a mainframe is they require low maintenance and requires minimal administrative staff. The main reason for the high front-up cost is because they are delivered according to the customer’s needs. Since most customers especially the first time customers, want to start out with a small system and scale out later, IBM will have a hard time finding new customers.
Many believe that with the new system z13, IBM is only keeping the mainframe relevant. The mainframe market as a whole is not expected to grow in the near future. Only time will tell how IBM will react when the demand for mainframe goes down.
Will the company sell it’s mainframe division like it did with it’s PC and Server business ? That we will have to wait and see.