Hu Yoshida

z13: a Mainframe Designed for the 3rd Platform

Blog Post created by Hu Yoshida Employee on Jan 30, 2015

On January 13 IBM announced the new z13 Mainframe, that was promised to be the most powerful and secure system ever built. The press release made the following claims:


  • First system able to process 2.5 billion transactions per day, built for mobile economy
  • Makes possible real-time encryption on all mobile transactions at scale
  • First mainframe system with embedded analytics providing real time transaction insights 17X faster than compared competitive systems at a fraction of the cost.

This system is clearly focused on the 3rd platform that IDC has defined around SMAC (Social, Mobile, Analytics, and Cloud.)  IBM calls this CMASS for Cloud, Mobility, Analytics, Social and Security. This is quite an impressive announcement, which should breathe new life into the mainframe.

We (Hitachi) have many mainframe customers and are very pleased to see IBM’s on-going commitment to mainframe and mainframe-based solutions. Hitachi maintains a strong relationship with IBM ensuring our ability to deliver on our commitment to support the latest features on IBM mainframes, and expect the same level of compatibility with the z13 as exists in other z systems.  We will announce a formal support plan for the z13 in the near future with our VSP G1000 enterprise storage system.


“The VSP G1000 is the industry leader in every aspect: reliability, functionality, performance, scalability and sustainability,” was the verdict in a new analyst paper recently written by Josh Krischer on HDS storage. He explains our more than 36 year relationship with IBM supporting their mainframe technologies, our cross licensing agreements that ensure compatibility, our certifications of Hitachi unique capabilities like Hitachi Universal Replicator with IBM Geographically Dispersed Parallel Sysplex, and our long term agreement to provide assistance to each other to quickly resolve joint customer issues. This paper also delves into the architecture of our VSP G1000 and how it supports IBM mainframes. The power, flexibility and future proof architecture of the VSP G1000 makes it the ideal platform to compliment the new z13.


After the announcement of the z13, IBM announced their 4Q earnings. Revenue from continuing operations was $24.1 billion for the quarter, down 12%. While there were many negative analyst comments around these results, Frank Gens of IDC saw “signs of 3rd platform momentum in a challenging transition.”  Frank noted; “For the full year, revenue from IBM's five strategic growth areas – cloud, analytics, mobile, social and security – collectively grew by 16%, reaching $25 billion (27% of total IBM revenue).” His feeling was that if IBM could maintain that growth in 3rd platform offerings, they will be able to turn the corner.  The z13 is clearly headed in that direction.