IBM Boosts zEnterprise Mainframe Portfolio

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IBM has unveiled its new zEnterprise BC12 (zBC12) mainframe designed for the latest in analytics, cloud, and mobile computing.

Starting at USD $75,000, IBM is making the most secure and technologically advanced enterprise server attractive to organisations of all sizes.

With this news, IBM also adds new industry solutions and enhanced software and operating systems across its zEnterprise portfolio to help clients better serve their customers. Using these innovations, banks can deliver new mobile banking services, insurance companies can prevent payment of fraudulent claims, and government agencies can interact and serve citizens using new applications in the cloud.

“Analytics, cloud and mobile computing are changing the way businesses in all industries engage with their customers,” said Sreenath Chary, Country Leader – System z, IBM India South Asia. “IBM’s zEnterprise technologies address these challenges by providing clients with a powerful and highly secure platform to manage new and emerging workloads, helping speed time to market, reduce costs and stimulate business growth by making stronger connections with customers.” Read the complete article on

– Posted by Khalid Raza

“Macintosh and IBM. Together at Last.”

An old advertisement for a product enabling Macs to communicate with IBM mainframes – see the text of the ad below the image.

Anyone know what year this was? Let us know in the Comments, please!  (ad courtesy of Rebecca Wood, Nashville, Tennessee)




Looking Backwards and Forwards

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In this issue:

  • Backwards – World’s First Smartphone, Music from Mainframes
  • Forwards – IBM 5 in 5, The Era of Cognitive Computing
  • Forwards – IBM’s Green Initiatives


Looking Backwards – World’s First Smartphone, Music from Mainframes

Our December theme for The Greater IBM Connection is ‘corporate history’, and Paul Lasewicz, IBM Corporate Archivist, has shared with us some very interesting highlights from IBM’s history such as the fact that IBM invented the world’s first smartphone.  It was also fascinating to learn of the musical compositions done from mainframes, perhaps the forerunner of the digital music trend of today.  Here are the some of the highlights from looking backwards:


Looking Forwards – IBM 5 in 5, The Era of Cognitive Computing

Each December, IBM unveils the 5 in 5 — five predictions about technology innovations that will change the way we work, live and play within the next five years. The ideas come from the thousands of biologists, engineers, mathematicians and medical physicians in our Research labs around the world — IBM has the world’s largest industrial research organization.

In the next five years, computers will begin to mimic and augment the senses, helping us become more aware and more productive.  Today, we see the beginnings of sensing machines in things like self-parking cars–and the future is wide open.  From the company that built Watson, the Jeopardy!-winning computer, here are five upcoming technology advances that will change your world:

Touch: You will be able to touch through your phone
Sight: A pixel will be worth a thousands words
Hearing: Computers will hear what matters
Taste: Digital taste buds will help you to eat smarter
Smell: Computers will have a sense of smell

Read more about it here:


Looking Forwards – IBM’s Green Initiatives

Building a Smarter Planet is a fundamental part of who IBM is as a company, and green initiatives are a key part of the focus for the present and future.  Here are a few highlights from the past week:


Stay Connected with The Greater IBM Connection by:

–Posted by Julie Yamamoto, Program Manager, The Greater IBM Connection

The Mainframe: Making Good in Africa, with IBM Business Partner CFAO

By Jean Noel Le Foll, General Manager, CFAO Technologies

Brazil, Russia, India, China, Turkey, South Africa and Mexico are the fastest growing markets for computer equipment, making up 14% of the global IT market. The regions increasing their IT purchases the most are the Middle East, Eastern Europe and Africa, according to Forrester Research. A growing list of companies in these emerging economies is relying on the IBM System z mainframe to build their infrastructures.

The Ministry of Senegal brought all of its import and export processes from across the country on-line with System z, and is now recovering 30% of Gross National Product, which amounts to two billion Senegalese francs in customs revenue every day. In the process, the Ministry increased the performance of its systems by 70%, reduced power consumption by 20% and cut operating costs by 30%.

The System Z Mainframe goes global

Customs officers in Senegal and their partners now have real-time access to information across all of the country’s border checkpoints. They can check to see if the correct duty has been paid on shipments of goods coming through the country’s main border checkpoints This is a vast improvement over the Ministry’s previous system, which was limited to two border checkpoints. The Ministry of Senegal is using technology to apply critical information to boost the country’s economic growth.

Logo of CFAO TechnologiesMy company, CFAO, also worked with the government in Cameroon to help them build their infrastructure on the mainframe. In Cameroon, the Cameroon Ministry of Finance is using a System z mainframe to help with smarter banking and modernize the payroll processes for government employees in the country. The new system is helping to increase the security of the Ministry’s payroll system and improve the efficiency of processes such as generating pay slips.

Mainframes provide enterprise clients in growth markets with an efficient platform for growth as they transform their businesses to become smarter in their industry. CFAO’s System z business in Africa has grown 15% over the last three years. And IBM’s System z revenue in growth markets was up 11% year to year in the second quarter of 2012, per IBM earnings.

Today, IBM announced a new mainframe that has been built with features that will appeal to clients in growth markets, such as the capability to run without a raised datacenter floor. IBM has been making changes over the last five generations of mainframes to enable clients to do this.

The new family of mainframes will also allow enterprises in growth markets to grow their business by 50 percent without increasing their energy usage, IT investment or system size.

CFAO expects the new mainframe will allow us to help more clients in Africa operate smarter to grow their economies and better serve citizens by more effectively making use of available data.

CFAO Technologies is an IBM Business Partner in West Africa.


Powering a 3D Internet

I’ve reblogged this from Mark Wallace’s fine 3pointD blog, must reading for anyone interested in virtual worlds development. Because virtual worlds are an extension of social networking efforts, such as Greater IBM, as well as an IBM strategic front, this latest hardware news is particularly exciting.


Posted Thursday, April 26th, 2007, at 1:21 am Eastern by Mark Wallace

Following the news of the new mainframe platform for virtual worlds
that IBM is working on, I had the chance to talk to David Gelardi,
IBM’s vice president of industry solutions, who is heading up the
effort. “This is a brand new way to support the needs of virtual worlds
in an environment that begins to look like 3D commerce,” Gelardi said.
“Think more in terms of a future state where there is a transaction
taking place that is a buying experience of some kind.” The “hybrid
environment of immense power and flexibility” that IBM is creating will
rely on the Cell’s processing power for rendering, the mainframe for
cryptography and its ability to handle the processing needs of a
massively multiuser enviroment, and Hoplon’s software for physics and

“I would argue that the world doesn’t yet understand the promise of
[virtual world] technology,” Gelardi said. “We see this technology
moving into banking and retail and anything where the consumer is
involved in a transaction of commerce that they would today do over the
Web, online shopping, online banking. The problem is that rendering is
kind of weak. We haven’t figured out how to accelerate that yet, and
how to marry that to transactions.”

Gelardi said the new mainframe architecture would provide a seamless
development environment, “so that the application is just asking for
services” via the Hoplon software. The mainframe project, according to
a press release

intends to create an environment that can seamlessly run
demanding simulations — such as massive online virtual reality
environments, 3D applications for mapping, enterprise resource planning
and customer relationship management, 3D virtual stores and meeting
rooms, collaboration environments and new types of data repositories.
It plans to achieve this goal by parceling the workload between the
mainframe and the Cell processor.

“The project capitalizes on the mainframe’s ability to accelerate
work via ’specialty processors,’ as well as its unique networking
architecture, which enables the kind of ultra-fast communication needed
to create virtual worlds with millions of simultaneous users sharing a
single universe,” according to IBM. The result will be “a hybrid that
is blazingly fast and powerful, with security features designed to
handle a new generation of ‘virtual world’ applications, such as the 3D

Hoplon software will be ported to the Cell to handle message passing
and physics simulation, IBM says. “We have experimented with trying to
figure out what the right technology is to run a virtual world,”
Gelardi says. “In this particular case, Hoplon came to us as an
existing client and we said, Let’s go another layer deeper, because you
have a software environment that’s interesting.”

The mainframe will run a Hoplon virtual-world middleware package
called bitVerse, which is “currently under development using WebSphere
XD as the underlying runtime environment, along with DB2.” Also
included on the mainframe end will be “administrative tasks for the
middleware and the applications . . . logistics (billing, etc.), and
connectivity to third parties as well as to multiple clients, which
might include PCs, consoles, mobile phones, music players, TVs, and
other devices.”

IBM is also open to working with other worldbuilders: “I expect us
to partner with many different kinds of clients and aid them in
creating a world that exists on top of a fundamentally strong
infrastructure,” Gelardi said.

Gelardi also stressed that the mainframe architecture should make
running virtual worlds more energy-efficient. “Usage of a large-scale
System z enviroment gives you an incredible amount of power
efficiency,” he said.