Technology aside, what does IBM’s new, power Z mainframe announced last week mean for the marketplace? Technology Business Research Analyst Stephanie takes a look.
This is the third of a three-part report. The previous reports as well as other news about the new Z are linked with this post.
IBM’s FY17 financial performance has a lot riding on the z14 announcement. The z14 represents a major refresh to the platform designed specifically to address the emerging needs for real‐time monitoring and protection of digital transactions. The broader market implications revolve around the following:
Customers: z14 provides highly valued extensions around pervasive data encryption, with no application changes and no impact to service‐level agreements, through automated features that IBM claims add only low‐single‐digit overhead demands on the existing processing capabilities of the instance. Flexible pricing methodologies will also provide customers with a mainframe PaaS layer that will compete with cloud‐scale alternatives while also delivering easy portability for the go‐live instances. Operational analytics capabilities and the ability to ingest activity reports from multi‐cloud instances into a single dashboard will enable more accurate performance monitoring, provisioning and internal expense billing to strip more manual tasks from the traditional data center operations.
Partners: IBM asserts the z14 has sparked renewed interest among its global systems integrator (GSI) partner community based on the simple reporting dashboards, on‐the‐fly data encryption capabilities and performance upticks associated with a hardware refresh. Systems integrators see the value in the simplified orchestration and management features reducing labor in their engagement models, while also sunsetting their end‐customer IT investments through the technical debt refinancing z14 enables to extend the life of core back‐office application layers.
Competitors: IBM has upped the ante once again. With attractive container pricing, IBM should experience success enticing younger IT professionals to at least consider the z14 as a worthy tent pole for emerging front‐office application development, particularly for digital commerce applications still heavily integrated into the proven and reliable back‐office application layers. Security protection has been dynamically altered and tilted toward data protection and all its country‐specific policy and governance permutations. IBM’s announcement will have security managed service providers racing to offer comparable performance metrics to compete against the feature set bundled with the z14.