In our earlier blog, “z114: A New Member to the Mainframe Family” we have covered the newly announced Big Iron system. IBM has created a momentum in the Mainframe market by positioning z114 suitable for mid-market customers. Last year, the release of z Enterprise 196 with its revolutionary design has created new strides in the Mainframe industry. Now at this time, with the advent of its little brother z114 at an economic price tag and improved features, the ardent Mainframe fans as well as critics are curiously watching the new Mainframe trend unleashing. As IBM is expecting to capture the market with this latest move, let us closely evaluate what this model has to offer the mid-market customers compared to its big brother zEnterprise 196.
Both z114 and z196 belong to the same system z family of Mainframes. The tag business class associated with z114 indicates an extension or the subsequent generation of z10 business class systems. However, with the advanced features in z Enterprise like Blade Center Extension (zBX), Unified Resource Manager (URM) etc, z114 represents the lower version of zEnterprise196. Like z196, z114 also brings in features like advanced virtualization, resiliency, security and connectivity technologies. All these features equip z196 and z114 for managing a complex modern data center more efficiently. While z196 stands as the big brother, z114 differs in an attractive price package making it suitable for mid-markets.
- z114 is packaged as a single frame while z196 carries a two frame design
- z114 can support 30 servers on a single core and 100’s on a single system. On the other side z196 can support up to 47 distributed servers on a single core and up to 1000’s on a single system.
- z114 has a Single Chip Module (SCM) where as z196 has Multi Chip Module (MCM)
- The Central Processor Complex (CPC) of both z 196 and z 114 has the same newly designed quad-core chip
- z114 runs at a clock speed of 3.8 GHz where as z196 runs at 5.2 GHz
- z114 and z196 bring in the same granularity of Central Processor (CP) capacity
- z114 is less constrained by fewer number of engines, less memory etc compared to z196.
- z114 leads to reduced cost and energy consumption compared to z196
- z114 lacks the water cooling option and raised floor designs introduced in zEnterprise 196 .
- z114 introduced PCIe I/O (Peripheral Component Interconnect Express protocols) infrastructure as a new feature to Mainframe systems (This is common in UNIX and other open systems)
- z114 I/O drawer implementation brings in improved granularity, better density and energy efficiency
- With z114 and z196 design, IBM has brought in improved capacity compared to Mainframe predecessors.
With the introduction of z196 and z114 into Mainframe family, IBM has shown their customers that they are sharply focussing to regain the Mainframe momentum back to both large and medium market segments. Now, the big and little brothers bring in new levels of Mainframe computing to help customers in these two markets achieve better systems management, faster deployment and quicker response time. With more and more advancements in technology, IBM clearly shows the signal that the relevance of Mainframes in the competitive business world is increasing day by day.