IBM Shows Off Powerful z13s Mainframe

According to IBM the new mainframe provides encryption twice as fast as mid-range systems of the past, with no dip in performance.

The company has continued to work on new mainframe designs after selling its x86 server business to Lenovo. The z13 was launched in last January, becoming the company’s first new mainframe in nearly 3 years. It featured a redesigned processor, quicker I/O and capabilities of handling up to 10TB of memory.

IBM Shows Off Powerful z13s Mainframe

New mainframe can handle encrypted transactions more efficiently

With the z13 IBM started to focus on real-time encryption and embedded analytics, and now the z13s offers upgrades on the original. According to the company the new version offers “updated cryptographic and tamper-resistant hardware-accelerated cryptographic coprocessor cards with faster processors and more memory.”

The z13s is aimed at mid–size organizations, and is reportedly the entry point to IBM’s z systems. The system promises to let clients process double the amount of high-volume, cryptographically protected transactions with no impact on performance.

Also included in the package is mainframe threat monitoring which uses behavior analytics and multi-factor authentication all the way from the z/OS operating system. Under a program called “Ready for IBM Security Intelligence,” more software developers have signed up to integrate their programs with the z systems.

This represents the first time that authentication has been built into the operating system. Usually the feature is offered as add-on software. On the new z13s system, privileged users must enter a IPIN or a random token as a second form of identification.

IBM integrates security features

IBM Research has developed the z Systems Cyber Security Analytics program, which learns user behavior and sends alerts if unusual activity is detected. IBM praised the flexibility of hybrid clouds, bur maintains that they represent new security challenges. Statistics show that more than 50% of attackers come from inside the system.

To mitigate the impact of human error or purposeful hacking, IBM promises to integrate its mainframe with security technologies. The software will deal with privileged identity management, data protection and the integration of security intelligence.

IBM announced that two models of the z13s will be available: the N10 and the N20. The former can hold up to 10 configurable cores and 1TB of memory, and the latter can reach 20 configurable cores and 4TB of memory.

Pricing details have not been announced but the system will be available in March.