IBM on Tuesday will roll out a new System z mainframe server that's designed for midmarket customers and emerging markets. The aim: Use these mainframes for the masses to consolidate traditional servers.
The zEnterprise 114 is positioned as a mainframe for the masses to a degree. IBM's latest mainframe starts below $75,000 making it its most inexpensive models in the z line-up.
According to IBM, the zEnterprise 114 can consolidate 300 servers on one box.
IBM has been riding a mainframe sales surge since launching its new System z line-up last year. The overall trend among hardware vendors is to pitch uber boxes as a way to consolidate servers. Oracle pitches Exadata as a data center consolidation play and IBM is positioning the mainframe to do the same.
Indeed, the move to cloud computing---public or private---centralizes IT to a degree that the architecture is really a flashback to 1964 when the mainframe was dominant. By positioning the mainframe at the application layer, IBM is looking to broaden its systems beyond the typical target markets such as banks, government and insurance companies that need top-notch security and the ability to process high-volume transactions.
If you project out a few years, it wouldn't be all that surprising if the mainframe was positioned more as a cloud engine of sorts.
Here's IBM's zEnterprise 114 mainframe pitch in a nutshell:
Space savings on data center floors;
Lower energy costs;
Integration between the zEnterprise System and IBM's System x blades;
Configurations up to 14 processors and the ability to use "10 specialty engines" to handle workloads ranging from Java to Linux.
Aside from midmarket companies, IBM is pushing these mass mainframes to emerging markets. Big Blue is looking to make emerging markets an increasingly large part of its revenue pie in its 2015 roadmap. Key mainframe wins abroad include the Senegal Ministry of Finance and the First National Bank of Namibia in Africa, Kazakh Railways in central Asia, Vietnam Joint Stock Bank for Industry and Trade and HDFC Bank, a large bank in India.