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IBM's mainframe: A long-evolving system

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IBM's mainframe: A long-evolving system

At The Linux Foundation's Open Source Summit in Los Angeles, IBM Z and LinuxONE vice president Barry Baker announced IBM's newest Linux-powered mainframe: The IBM LinuxONE Emperor II.

This is the latest in IBM's Linux-only mainframe line. It follows up on 2015's release of the LinuxONE Emperor, which built on the IBM z13 mainframe and its z13 CPU, and its little brother, Rockhopper, which is now moving from the older z12 processor to the z13.

The Emperor II, which replaces the original Emperor, comes with up to 170 Z14 cores. These run at 5.2Ghz and run up to 30 percent faster than the Z13. IBM states this is as power as 1,000 high-performance x86 cores. The new Emperor also includes 640 processors dedicated to improving I/O performance. This enables it to support up to 96 network ports. Finally, you can run your programs in up to 32TB (yes, terabytes, not gigabytes) of memory.

Just like with the other IBM Linux mainframes, you can run your choice of Red Hat, SUSE, or Ubuntu Linux server distributions.

In addition, the Emperor II comes with a new software feature: IBM Secure Service Container. This is a new logical partition (LPAR) type. It enables the secure deployment of software and firmware appliances by enforcing a common set of security standards and behaviors.

Developers can benefit from this by not having to create code dependencies to take advantage of this advanced security capabilities. You'll only need to put your application in a normal Docker container to be ready for Secure Service Container deployment. You can then manage the application using Docker and Kubernetes tools that are included to make Secure Service Container environments easy to deploy and use.

Once again, even as the computing world makes radical changes in how to run software, IBM mainframes continue to evolve to meet these new demands.

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