IBM z14 Features Improve Security, Insights and a Connected Ecosystem
The IBM z14 system is centered around three themes: Secure data and transactions, intelligence and insight, and an open and connected enterprise cloud.
By Valerie Dennis Craven07/17/2017
We live in a digital economy where everything is accessible to us any time. Digital device accessibility and ease of use have increased our expectations for how we live our lives. Mobile use worldwide is skyrocketing. In the U.S. alone, Pew Research estimates that 77 percent of Americans now own a smartphone (pewinternet.org/fact-sheet/mobile). Access to the internet is at consumers’ fingertips. As a result, they expect to be able to provide instant feedback. As the power shifts away from corporations to the hands of the individual, organizations that fail to respond to consumers will be left behind.
As mobile use is expected to continue to rise, consumers will need to trust the platform and systems that underpin next-generation transactions. Lack of trust can be a barrier in the digital economy, something that can keep organizations from moving forward and individuals from participating.
“Trust allows companies to take a leap in innovation, to bring new solutions to the market and to use technology in new ways,” says Tarun Chopra, IBM Z hardware offering manager. “Trust is what gives the customers the confidence to share their personal information and ultimately do business with your organization.”
To help clients enable trust and leadership, IBM introduced the new IBM z14 system centered around three themes:
- Secure data and transactions enabling data as the new perimeter across the value chain
- Intelligence and insight integrating continuous intelligence through machine learning to personalize and elevate your customer experiences
- Delivering all of the innovation through an open and connected enterprise cloud to extend, connect and innovate
The Three Pillars of z14
These three pillars, working together, will position organizations to excel in this trust economy.
IBM z14 introduces pervasive encryption as the new standard, providing clients the ultimate protection for corporate data and greatly simplifying compliance to meet the requirements of ever-increasing regulations. Where selective encryption is considered a minimum threshold of compliance, pervasive encryption protects all of an organization’s digital assets. Pervasive encryption allows organizations to encrypt 100 percent of the data associated with entire applications or databases without application changes and without impacting their service-level agreements. (Read more about pervasive encryption in “IBM Z Pervasive Encryption Marks a Paradigm Shift for Security.”)
IBM Machine Learning for z/OS transforms the platform into a cognitive learning system to optimize decisions by quickly training, deploying and continuously monitoring a high volume of data to build predictive behavior models. IBM Machine Learning for z/OS brings those capabilities to rapidly analyze large volumes of data with consistent response time by exploiting in-memory computing. With z14, clients can apply machine learning to the most valuable data that originates and resides on the mainframe to create deeper actionable insights and predictive behavior. (Read more about machine learning in “IBM Machine Learning for z/OS Gives Clients the Tools to Make Better, Faster Decisions.”)
With an open and connected cloud environment, clients can achieve innovation. With cloud-based blockchain offerings, clients can leverage existing investments they have built over the years with an open and connected mainframe. And with APIs, clients can connect their core assets to cloud-born applications. (Read more about blockchain in “Blockchain Is Set to Streamline Markets and Transform Industries.”)
To leverage the trust economy, the IBM z14 features enhancements from the core out to help accelerate business. It features up to 170 configurable cores—up to 35 percent more total capacity compared to the largest z13. The z14 has up to 32 TB of memory for the system and up to 16 TB per LPAR and features fault-tolerant redundant array of independent memory designed to support memory availability. IBM has redesigned the L1 and L2 cache architecture of the z14 with 1.5x more on-chip cache per core compared to the IBM z13.
It features enhanced performance for compression and crypto coprocessor. Based on preliminary internal IBM lab measurements on a standalone dedicated system in a controlled environment and compared to the z13, it has 6x faster encryption for like modes and data sizes with enhanced on-chip cryptographic performance compared to z13. The new Crypto Express6S adapter is installed in the PCIe I/O drawer configuration and offers a tamper-resistant crypto coprocessor. The Crypto Express6S gets a 2X performance improvement in SSL transactions.
Other enhancements and capabilities to the new system help with innovation. New instructions in the single instruction, multiple data facility offers a boost for traditional workloads using decimal operations (i.e., COBOL, PL/I) and new applications like analytics (i.e., Spark). Java is being optimized with 50-plus new instructions. Pause-less garbage collection enables enterprise-scale Java applications to run with fewer and shorter pauses for garbage collection on larger and larger heaps. (Read more about new Java capabilities in “Java With z14 Features Hardware Facilities for Secure, High-Performance Transaction Processing.”) The z14 has optimized simultaneous multithreading (SMT) for Linux performance with new efficiency enhancements and supporting zIIPs.
Personal Platform to Trust
“IBM has put its heart and soul into this,” says Chopra, lead offering manager of the IBM z14 system. “A lot of work has gone in to be able to bring this innovation in the marketplace.” As a result of those efforts, IBM has developed a platform that IBM Z clients can trust with their critical information and applications and embrace the digital economy.
Valerie Dennis Craven is a Minneapolis-based writer and editor.
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