Evolving Solutions Observations on the Announced IBM z14

Charles Darwin once stated “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, not the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change“.  IBM’s research centered on C-Suite mindset1 exposed a Top of Mind concern for many C-Suite executives from their most recent study.  That concern is centered on a phenomenon known as the Uber syndrome2 and CEOs are quick to look for technologies that will position their organization from falling victim to this syndrome.

Those following changes within the IT Industry would quickly agree that IBM’s next generation z System Server known as the IBM z14 server complements Darwin’s view on the need for ever-evolving adaptation and the C-suite’s concern centered on investing in technologies that enable you to Be First and Be Best, allowing your competitors to Be Nowhere.

Today, July 17, 2017, IBM announced their next generation z Systems Server known as the IBM z14. This new server, will offer five models with a base single engine speed of 1832 MIPs, up from 1695 MIPs on the prior generation.  IBM Development worked a bit of engineering magic and increased the clock speed to 5.2 GHz, up from 5.0 GHz.  Do you know of any other server technologies that can run that hot… and not melt?  Memory configuration have increased, so too have the number of cores available within a single system image.

From an architectural extension standpoint, we continue to see enhancements.  For example, IBM rewrote their clear and secure key encryption engines from the ground up on the prior generation server.  Doing so provided much higher levels of performance as compared to distributed offerings in support of Strong One Way Hash, TDES, AES, SSL Handshake and Elliptic Curve Cryptography (ECC). On IBM’s z14 Server, IBM development rewrote performance once again.  Clear Key Encryption is 4x to 7x improved from the z13, the new Crypto6s Cards will be 2x improved from the current 5s technology.  The z13 server platform offers excellent cryptographic performance, the IBM z14 Server improves on the base making it the platform of choice in support of your business opportunities and challenges in an insecure world.  To participate in this economy, transactions must be secure.  The IBM z14 Server provides the high-performance primitives that will guarantee this.

Cryptography is not the only enhanced architectural extension.  Multi-Threading (SMT) receives a boost through the faster core speed, the channel subsystem on this server will also leverage this technology.  The SIMD facility (Vector) is enhanced with new instructions that will boost traditional workloads using decimal operations (i.e. COBOL 6.2, PL/I 5.2) and enhance new analytic applications such as Apache Spark for z/OS. These improvements, along with increased core speed, will provide measurable benefits for big data workloads compared with distributed platforms.

When you study the announcement material from IBM that is found here, you will notice three themes tied to the z14 Server.  These themes are:

  1. Pervasive Encryption
  2. Data Serving in a Cognitive World
  3. Open and Connected

Evolving Solutions next article will center on the role of pervasive encryption in your enterprise.

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Footnotes

  1. See Redefining Boundaries: Insights from the Global C-suite Study at this URL: http://www-01.ibm.com/common/ssi/cgi-bin/ssialias?subtype=XB&infotype=PM&htmlfid=GBE03695USEN&attachment=GBE03695USEN.PDF
  2. The Uber Syndrome is where a competitor with a completely different business model enters your industry and flattens you.

 

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Karen Sams

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