IBM launches 'skinny' Z mainframe designed for 19-inch standard data center rack

IBM is hellbent on bringing the power and unique characteristics to a private or public cloud data center near you.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

IBM is rolling out a "skinny" mainframe that has a 19-inch industry standard, single frame design and be easier to integrate into cloud data centers.

The game plan for IBM is to make the skinny mainframe, which is built on the z14 technology, easier to place in public and private cloud data centers. IBM's traditional mainframe is in a 24-inch architecture.

These skinny mainframes include the IBM z14 Model ZR1 and IBM LinuxONE Rockhopper II.

Mike Desens, vice president of offering management for IBM Z systems, said he "always thought our mainframe was svelte anyway," but acknowledged that the 19-inch footprint means air flow, storage and a mainframe can be integrated into a standard rack. "It gives our customers more flexibility with what they are used to doing," explained Desens. "The 19-inch footprint provides all classical strengths of mainframes in a standard data center."

IBM Z, Big Blue's latest mainframe, has landed some sales as enterprises are looking for more transaction throughput and security. IBM Z and IBM Cloud Hyper Protect are a tandem designed to encrypt data on the mainframe level.

Read also: IBM launches IBM Z, a revamped mainframe with pervasive data encryption | New IBM big iron for Linux

To roll out the new mainframes, IBM said it used design thinking to work with more than 80 clients including managed service providers, online banks and insurance firms.

IBM said it will deploy the new mainframe systems in its own public cloud data centers.

These skinny mainframes include the technologies in the Z14, which launched in July, in a smaller footprint:

  • The ability to process more than 850 million fully encrypted transactions a day on a single system with the z14 ZR1.
  • No requirements for special space, cooling or energy and pervasive encryption and secure service container for data serving.
  • 10 percent more capacity than the predecessor z13s and twice the memory with the z14 ZR1 at 8TB.
  • 19-inch standard form factor, 50 percent more capacity and 2x more memory with the Rockhopper II.
  • Docker certified infrastructure for Docker EE with integrated management and scale tested up to 330,000 Docker containers.

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