Published: Mon, July 17, 2017
Science | By Hubert Green

IBM unveils powerful new encryption mainframe

IBM unveils powerful new encryption mainframe

The result is a sevenfold increase in cryptographic performance over the z13 mainframe, he said.

The z14 CPU has new instructions in the single instruction, multiple data (SIMD) facility that speeds traditional decimal operation workloads (i.e. COBOL 6.2, PL/I 5.2) and analytics (ie, Apache Spark for z/OS) beyond that provided by the faster processor.

Beyond pure encryption, customers also told IBM they wanted this capability delivered in a cost-effective way.

The z13 was launched in 2015.

IBM mainfraes already support 87% of all credit card transactions and almost $8-trillion payments a year, 29-billion ATM transactions each year, worth almost $5-billion per day, 4-billion passenger flights each year; more than 30-billion transactions per day - more than the number of Google searches every day; and 68% of the world's production workloads at only 6% of the total IT cost.

The big iron comes with some big performance beyond encryption.

1 000 concurrent NoSQL databases.

Key management in the IBM Z is created to respond to tampering efforts by invalidating the encryption keys at any sign of foul play.

While much of the IT infrastructure conversation today revolves around cloud, mainframes are still a $3 to $4 billion business for IBM, according to the market research firm IDC. Just as importantly, it offers pervasive encryption so that all data is encrypted all of the time, whether it is part of an application, cloud service, or chunks of bits in a database.

This mainframe responds to API calls from cloud services and z14 developers can call any cloud service.

The 14-generation mainframe, called IBM Z, introduces a new encryption engine that for the first time will allow organizations to encrypt all data in their databases, applications, or cloud services, with no performance hit, said Mike Perera, VP of IBM's z Systems Software unit, in an interview with Data Center Knowledge.

IBM believes its new mainframe will be particularly popular with businesses in the European Union, where new regulations regarding encryption and data protection are set to go into effect next year.

Big Blue says x86 servers are crap at encryption.

"Of the more than nine billion data records lost or stolen since 2013, only four percent were encrypted, making the vast majority of such data vulnerable to organised cyber crime rings, state actors and employees misusing access to sensitive information".

These pricing models are scalable within and across logical partitions (LPARs) and provide better metering, capping and billing.

In the most significant re-positioning of mainframe technology in more than a decade, when the platform embraced Linux and open source software, IBM Z now dramatically expands the protective cryptographic umbrella of the world's most advanced encryption technology and key protection. The pervasive encryption should encourage security-conscious CIOS to keep mainframe apps on the mainframe and in-house, helping to stem the dykes walling off the X86 server and public cloud seas threatening to breach its proprietary mainframe profit centre.

Make no mistake. Mainframe sales have a significant impact on IBM's hardware business. Consequently the z14's prime role is to support and continue this installed base revenue stream.

As for pricing, IBM unveiled three container pricing models. Get a z14 datasheet here.

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