IBM Launches z13 Mainframe

IBM announced the z13, the most sophisticated computer system ever built, it delivers scale and economics together with real-time encryption and analytics to meet the expectations of speed and safety for trillions of transactions in a mobile economy. The system represents five years and $1 billion in development working with over 60 clients.

The IBM's new mainframe provides unprecedented new capabilities, including:

  • z13 is the first system able to process 2.5B transactions a day - equivalent of 100 Cyber Mondays every day of the year. z13 transactions are persistent, protected and auditable from end-to-end adding assurance as mobile transactions explode – estimated to grow to 40 trillion mobile transactions per day by 2025.
  • z13 is the first system capable of real-time encryption for safer mobile transactions. z13, for the first time, enables real-time encryption of mobile transactions to help ensure both the safety of transaction data and response times consistent with a positive customer experience. The system includes 500 new patented cryptographic encryption technologies that enable more security uses mobile devices of which a vast majority today are not encrypted.
  • z13 is the first system capable of real-time analytics on mobile transactions 17X faster than any other method at a fraction of the cost. This capability helps businesses offer a more personalized digital engagement experience for consumers or real-time fraud detection by delivering ‘on the fly’ analytic insights that are 17 times faster than the competition.

The rapid growth of mobile applications has created consumers who expect mobile transactions to be fast and seamless – regardless of which mobile payment platform, retailer, or financial organization is providing the service. As a result, businesses are being forced to evaluate whether their IT infrastructures can support mobile applications that meet and exceed these consumer expectations -- or face the potential of losing clients to competing businesses.

“Every time a consumer makes a purchase or hits refresh on a smart phone, it can create a cascade of events on the back end of the computing environment,” said Tom Rosamilia, senior vice president, IBM Systems. “The z13 is designed to handle billions of transactions.  Only the IBM mainframe can put the power of the world's most secure datacenters in the palm of your hand. Consumers expect fast, easy and secure mobile transactions. The implication for business is the creation of a secure, high performance infrastructure with sophisticated analytics."

Clients around the world are recognizing the mainframe as a system for mobile transactions at scale. For example, Rabobank, headquartered in Utrecht, the Netherlands, uses the mainframe to proactively respond to customer needs and provide a customized banking experience through mobile devices, great enhancing the client experience.

z13 Helps with Secure, Trusted Mobile Transactions

As mobile adoption grows, consumers are driving exponentially larger numbers of mobile transactions. Each of these mobile transactions triggers a cascade of events across computing systems. These events include comparisons to past purchases, data encryption and decryption, bank to bank reconciliations, and customer loyalty discounts. This cascade of events causes a so-called “starburst effect” – where a single transaction can trigger as few as four or as many as 100 additional system interactions.

Consequently, the starburst effect creates security vulnerabilities at each interaction point. In fact, 71 percent of CIOs and IT managers surveyed by IBM, indicated that security is their most significant mobile enterprise challenge. [2] With data and transactions under constant threat from multiple points of attack, consumers want to know that their mobile data is as secure financial data held by banks.

When combined with IBM MobileFirst Platform and Protect solutions, the z13 delivers enhanced performance, availability, analytics and security that will drive optimal mobile user experiences. IBM MobileFirst Platform enables organizations to deliver better, more secure apps. IBM MobileFirst Protect delivers seamless security and end-to-end management of clients' infrastructure and all its devices, apps, content and transactions.

Providing Insight with Every Transaction

The z13 will feature the world’s fastest microprocessor, 2X faster than the most common server processors, 300 percent more memory, 100 percent more bandwidth and vector processing analytics to speed mobile transactions. As a result, the z13 transaction engine is be capable of analyzing transactions in “real time” and will be able to help prevent fraud as it is occurring allowing financial institutions to halt the transaction before the consumer is impacted.

In addition to assistance with fraud prevention, businesses looking to enhance their customer loyalty programs will be able to use new z13 capabilities to add more personalization by gaining a real-time view of a client's purchasing habits to offer up-sell and cross-sell promotions before they leave the store -- and in some cases before they even enter.

Businesses don’t have the ability to analyze 100 percent of a consumer's transaction. With the z13, businesses will be able to use IBM's predictive analytics modeling technology, SPSS, and personalize the transaction as it occurs.

The new mainframe includes new support for Hadoop, enabling unstructured data to be analyzed in the system. Other analytics advances include faster acceleration of queries by adding DB2 BLU for Linux providing an in-memory database, enhancements to the IBM DB2 analytics accelerator, and vastly improved performance for mathematically intense analytics workloads.

The z13 is the ideal cloud architecture, legendary for its ability to scale and reliably and securely handle multiple workloads. In a scale out model, it is capable or running up to 8000 virtual servers -- more than 50 virtual servers per core allowing for lower software, energy and facilities costs.

The z13 lowers the cost of running cloud on the mainframe to almost half the cost of running cloud on an x86/distributed server environment, while boosting performance by up to 30 percent. Additionally, the z13 is on an open platform, fully supporting Linux, OpenStack and additional platforms.

IBM will also unveil a preview of new z/OS software that delivers advanced analytic and data serving capabilities. This new operating system expands the ability of z13 to process in-memory analytics and provide analysis on mobile transactions, helping clients to further extend mainframe enterprise applications to the mobile user.

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