IBM bets $1bn on new Z13 mainframe

IBM's z-series mainframe is the most powerful to date.
IBM's z-series mainframe is the most powerful to date.

Mainframes are not dead, far from that! Big Blue has unveiled a new model called the z13 which it says is one of the most sophisticated that it has ever built.

It required five years and a $1 billion investment (around £630 million, AU$1.1 billion) during its R&D gestation with more than 500 patents used as well.

On paper at least, the z13 is impressive; it can crunch through 2.5 billion transactions a day which IBM says is equivalent to "100 Cyber Mondays every day of the year".

The Z13 uses a new microprocessor that Big Blue claims is the fastest ever. The chip has nearly four bullion transistors and is fabricated using a 22nm process.

Clocked at 5GHz, it has up to eight cores and 64MB L3 share cache. The server itself has a re-engineered IO system and can address up to 10TB of system memory.

According to IBM, one Z13 can run up to 8000 virtual servers, more than 50 per core (which would translate in a system with at least 20 8-core processors)

A new z/OS software will run on the new system, which IBM says, should help slash the total cost of ownership of running cloud transactions significantly, by more than half over three years compared to a public cloud.

Desire Athow
Managing Editor, TechRadar Pro

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website builders and web hosting when DHTML and frames were in vogue and started narrating about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium.