IBM Targets Mainframe At Specific Applications - InformationWeek

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IBM Targets Mainframe At Specific Applications

IBM hopes to counter plummeting System z sales with seven packages of integrated hardware, software, and services tailored to specific application workloads.

IBM, which has seen revenue from the System z plummet in the economic downturn, is hoping to reignite sales with seven packages of integrated hardware, software and services that tailor the mainframe to specific application workloads.

The System z Solution Edition Series, introduced Friday, is designed to make the cost of deploying the mainframe more competitive with systems that involve tying together commodity hardware. The packages include mainframe hardware and IBM middleware products and maintenance services.

Targeted application workloads include data warehousing, application development, disaster recovery, security, electronic payments and service-oriented architectures. The seventh is an upgrade of a package for SAP business applications. IBM introduced the package last year.

The new offerings run on the Linux operating system, which accounted for about half of the roughly 1,000 new or updated applications developed for the mainframe in 2008, according to IBM. More than 40% of new System z customers installed Linux last year.

Nevertheless, sales of System z has been hit hard during the economic recession, which has pushed companies toward buying less expensive commodity x86 hardware to meet their computing needs. Revenues from System z mainframes fell 39% in the second quarter, compared with the same period a year ago, IBM reported in July.

The price of the latest packages will depend on system configuration. However, the starting price of the System z is roughly $100,000.

InformationWeek Analytics has published an analysis of the current state of mainframes. Download the report here (registration required).

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