IBM Brings Windows to the Mainframe

Posted by bink on November 7 2011, 7:51 PM.

IBM announced that its much-anticipated capability to support Windows integration on the System zEnterprise mainframe will be available on Dec. 16.

IBM has made good on its promise to deliver Windows integration with the IBM mainframe via the zEnterprise System.

When IBM introduced the zEnterprise in July 2010, the company also announced plans to deliver additional general purpose blades for the IBM zEnterprise BladeCenter Extension including IBM System x-based blades running Linux in 2011. IBM also suggested it would support Windows and in April 2011 confirmed its plans to deliver Windows support on z/Enterprise.

IBM says this capability is a first of its kind and is a strategic, demand driven move by Big Blue. As of Dec. 16, this new technology enabling IBM zEnterprise System users to integrate Windows applications into the mainframe environment will become available.

The new capability allows enterprises with multi-tier applications -- for example, Windows applications connected to mainframe data -- to be integrated and consolidated on the same system. In an interview with eWEEK, Greg Lotko, vice president of marketing for System z, said this bringing together of the mainframe and distributed computing worlds is designed to ease the cost and complexity of large corporate data centers and improve management of workloads spanning mainframe and distributed environments.

“We GA’d [made the system generally available] in the third quarter of 2010,” Lotko said. “In Q4 of last year we put out the zEnterprise BladeCenter Extension with support for IBM Power7 blades running AIX and the IBM Smart Analytics Optimizer. In Q1 of 2011 we made the DataPower blades available. In Q2 clients asked for Windows so we listened to our clients and modified our plans and said we would deliver it by the end of the year. In Q3 we delivered Linux integration, and in Q4 we’re delivering Windows.”

By bringing Windows and the mainframe together, IBM is helping clients to innovate more freely in multiple environments across z/OS, Linux and Unix and now Windows.

IBM’s System z support for Windows means that mainframe users can gain more choice in choosing the best platform for a particular application -- from ERP to business analytics to transaction processing. Users also can have their front-end Windows applications integrate with applications or data on the mainframe. And they can consolidate more workloads onto the mainframe as part of their efforts to maximize technology investments. The financial impact of consolidation onto System z can be substantial, with savings of up to 70 percent in total cost of ownership compared to distributed platforms, IBM officials said.

IBM Brings Windows to the Mainframe - IT Infrastructure - News & Reviews - eWeek.com