Throughout the development of the all new IBM z14, we have worked closely with dozens of clients around the world to understand what they need to accelerate their digital transformation, securely. What we learned was data security was foundational to everything they do, they’re striving to leverage that data to gain a competitive edge, and ultimately everybody’s trying to move faster to compete at the speed of business.

Data is the New Security Perimeter with Pervasive Encryption

Job #1 is protecting their confidential data and that of their clients from both internal and external threats.  The z14 introduces pervasive encryption as the new standard with 100% of the data encrypted at-rest and in-motion, uniquely able to bulk encrypt 100% of their data in both IBM Information Management System (IMS), IBM DB2 for z/OS, and Virtual Storage Access Method (VSAM) with no changes to their applications and no impact to the SLAs.  

IBM MQ for z/OS already encrypts messages from end-to-end with its Advanced Message Security feature. On the new z14, MQ can scale to greater heights with the 7X boost in on-chip encryption performance compared to z13.

Additionally, with secure services containers, z14 can prevent data breaches by rogue administrators by restricting root access via graphical user interfaces. One of the many differentiating security features provided with IBM’s Blockchain High Security Business Network delivered in the IBM Cloud.

Ever-evolving Intelligence with Machine Learning

Data is the world’s next great natural resource. Our clients are looking to gain a competitive edge with the vast amounts of data they have and turn insights into actions in real time when it matters.  IBM Machine Learning for z/OS can decrease the time businesses take to continuously build, train, and deploy intelligent behavioral models by keeping the data on IBM Z where it is secure.  They can also take advantage of IBM DB2 Analytics Accelerator for z/OS’s new Zero Latency technology, which uses a just-in-time protocol for data coherency for analytic requests to train and retrain their models on the fly.

Agility with an Open and Connected Enterprise Cloud

The hyper-competitive market requires companies to continually transform and adapt to outpace their competition.  IBM Z provides the agility to continuously deliver new function via microservices, API’s or more traditional applications.

Innovate with Microservices and leverage open source

Microservices can be built on z14 with Node.js, Java, Go, Swift, Python, Scala, Groovy, Kotlin, Ruby, COBOL, PL/I, and more.  They can be deployed in Docker containers where a single z14 can scale out to 2 million Docker containers.  These services can run up to 5X faster when co-located with the data they need on IBM Z.  The data could be existing data on DB2 or IMS or it could be using open source technologies such as MariaDB, Cassandra, or MongoDB.  On z14, a single instance of MongoDB can hold 17 TB of data without sharding!

Connect and Extend with APIs to maximize existing investments

We’ve made it easier to connect to and extend existing applications by allowing developers to easily understand complex programs by visualizing flows and relationships with IBM Application Discovery and Delivery Intelligence.  This reduces the time it takes to update and test changes by more than 30%.  Developers can easily enrich these applications by consuming both private and public services such as IBM Watson, Weather Underground, IBM Blockchain High Security Business Network, Twitter, or Salesforce. IBM z/OS Connect Enterprise Edition automatically generates COBOL or PL/I code in seconds to connect and leverage RESTful APIs into or out of IBM z.

Developers can also expose these applications running in IBM CICS or IMS as services 90% faster than manually creating traditional web services with a simple, intuitive point-and-click user interface of z/OS Connect to create RESTful APIs.  These APIs can scale to handle billions of secure requests a day and respond 2 to 3 times faster than x86-based platforms leveraging the enhanced cryptographic capabilities and pause-less garbage collection for Java in z14.

Additionally, application performance can be improved up to 35% without recompiling by using IBM Automatic Binary Optimizer for z/OS to update application binaries to take advantage of the new instructions on z14, even if the source code is lost!

Continuously deploy to meet customer demands

To accelerate the innovation, orchestration tools like Ansible, SaltStack, Chef, Puppet, or UrbanCode can be used to automate deployment of changes on demand, as many times a day as needed on IBM Z.  With z/OS Provisioning Toolkit, deployment of CICS, MQ, WebSphere Liberty, and z/OS Connect EE instances can be automated to deploy and tear down virtually on demand.

We’re demonstrating many of these capabilities in the development of our own software, now providing a continuous delivery model across our portfolio.  As an example, IBM Explorer for z/OS Aqua and the 17 DevOps and Systems Management tools based on it are updated monthly. In addition, CICS, Application Delivery Foundation for z Systems and z/OS Connect Enterprise Edition have new features delivered on a regular basis in a continuous delivery stream.

End-to-end visibility to reduce and prevent outages

As enterprises consume more services from both public and private cloud, they require tools to monitor and analyze operational data from all parts of their enterprise infrastructure. Application owners can quickly identify bottlenecks and isolate issues in the applications from their front-end on distributed platforms or cloud all the way back to individual subsystems on IBM Z with AppDynamics and Omegamon for Application Performance Management. IT staff can also do root cause analysis from an enterprise wide IT operational analytics solution. With IBM Common Data Provider for IBM Z, over 140 types of operational data from IBM z can be shared in near-real time with Splunk or the Elastic Stack for the end-to-end visibility that they need to quickly find the root cause when operations issues occur.

Easy to understand pricing

On top of all the groundbreaking new technology, we are also providing clients clear line of sight to pricing new solutions while deploying the best technical answer without impacting monthly license charges.  Initially, the following three solutions will be enabled:

  • Application Development and Test Solution – Add up to 3 times more capacity to existing environments for development and test without any additional monthly licensing costs or create new environments with competitive pricing.
  • New Application Solution – New microservices or applications on z/OS can be priced individually without impacting the cost of other workloads on the same system.
  • Payment Pricing Solution – a single price for software plus hardware or just software based on the number of payments processed.

Try it out

Last, but not least, we have setup shop in the cloud for anyone to try out our software and tools free of charge in minutes in the cloud with IBM z Trial.  Experience the benefits of visualizing applications with Application Discovery and Delivery Intelligence or create APIs with z/OS Connect EE without the need to waste time and resources by downloading and installing applications locally.

Michael Perera is Vice President of IBM Z Software at IBM. He is responsible for the offering management, development and support of IBM’s full lifecycle of IBM Z software products including DevOps, Hybrid Cloud, Transaction Processing and Systems Management.

4 comments on"IBM Z Software z14 Announcement"

  1. Marci Zampi July 17, 2017

    Congratulations, Mike! The world’s safest server just got even better. I’m looking forward to the launch today — it will be my first IBM launch, even after working there all those years! Hope to see you soon.

  2. […] this week released its new mainframe, IBM z14, which offers encryption for 100 percent of user data and achieves the highest level of government […]

  3. Any plans for offering Docker container environments for trial on z14?

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