Planet Mainframe News

IBM Brings Big Tech to Small Businesses with LinuxONE 4 Express

IBM has started 2024 by unveiling the latest iteration of its LinuxONE servers—the LinuxONE 4 Express. Coming almost a year after the arrival of the LinuxONE Rockhopper 4, this latest offering enables small to medium-sized businesses (SMEs) to take advantage of technology historically reserved for much bigger enterprises.

Launching on February 20th, the LinuxONE 4 Express is a pre-configured rack-mount model, powered by the IBM Telum processor (with its on-chip AI acceleration), and supporting up to 864 GB of memory. Designed to support hybrid cloud for the SME market, the LinuxONE 4 Express comes at a relatively affordable starting price of $135,000.

We talked to IBM’s Director of IBM Z and LinuxONE HW Product Management, Rick Schoonmaker, to get his insights on the new LinuxONE 4 Express. He began by stressing the flexibility of a rack-mount model, which creates a simplified buying experience for SMEs:

“We wanted to extend the latest performance, security, and AI capabilities of the larger LinuxONE boxes and fit them for small and medium-sized businesses. So we took a pre-configured rack mount system (the linuxONE 4 Express comes in pre-configured sizes, starting at four cores and going up to as many as 16 cores), simplifying the buying journey so that we can offer cost savings to those smaller businesses.”

IBM LinuxONE 4 Express offers high availability for clients who have strict resiliency requirements due to internal or external regulations, and features capabilities designed to reduce both energy consumption and data center floor space. Consolidation is the key word here, according to Schoonmaker:

“This is workload-dependent, but the average consolidation ratio from an x86 core to ours is about 16:1 (meaning that 16 x86 cores can be consolidated down to one LinuxONE core). We had a client who did a lot of database consolidation and they were seeing 33:1 consolidation, but if you have a mostly straight compute-intensive workload it’s going to be on the lower end of the consolidation factor.”

For businesses with limited floorspace and sustainability benchmarks to reach, that is a meaningful reduction in space and energy usage. “You can now take a large x86 server farm and consolidate that down into fewer, smaller LinuxONE boxes,” said Schoonmaker. “You’ve saved a ton of room and you’ve also brought down your power envelope significantly.”

Businesses of all sizes are facing increasingly complex cybersecurity challenges, and the LinuxONE 4 Express delivers a quantum-safe system, which according to Schoonmaker is going to be necessary sooner rather than later: 

“As quantum computers get closer to breaking our existing encryption, businesses are going to need to start using quantum-safe algorithms that cannot be broken by quantum computers. These boxes allow businesses to start down that path and stay ahead of the curve.”

The LinuxONE platform also takes into account that smaller businesses may not have IT personnel with specialized mainframe skills. Schoonmaker noted that the LinuxONE 4 Express features the Dynamic Partition Manager (DPM), which greatly simplifies the configuration and management of the mainframe: 

“The DPM is available across the LinuxONE platform because we recognize that the clients we’re going after from a LinuxONE standpoint were going to be different from our existing mainframe clients and they would need that simplification.”

It is IBM’s stance that the cloud and the mainframe should be entirely compatible, and the LinuxONE 4 Express extends IBM’s hybrid cloud infrastructure to a whole new consumer base – an evolution of the mainframe that flies in the face of the assumption that mainframes are on the decline. 

“I’ve been hearing about the end of the mainframe for my entire 25-year career and it’s just not what we’re seeing,” said Schoonmaker. “From a LinuxONE standpoint, we’ve had two record growth years in a row. So this platform continues to expand as people realize its benefits. And our capacity continues to expand from both the Z and the LinuxONE side. So while certain people like to talk about the end of the mainframe, it’s not going to happen any time soon.”

SHARE Orlando Conference, March 3–7 2024

Registration is still open for this year’s SHARE conference, taking place in Orlando, FL, March 3–7 at the Rosen Centre Hotel. Taking part in SHARE Orlando will provide you access to the latest enterprise IT news, key focus areas, prominent industry leaders, and product highlights on emerging technologies.

Head over to the SHARE website to learn more about the conference, register, or discover volunteer opportunities

Source: SHARE

CMG Honors Legal & General with the IMPACT Innovation Award

CMG announced this week that Legal & General has won this year’s IMPACT Innovation Award. The award was presented to L&G representatives at the 2024 IMPACT Conference that recently took place in Atlanta, GA.

 L&G’s winning iMpala Project set out to improve mainframe usage by easing and increasing accessibility to engineers, developers, and users. The end results of the project include increased versatility, decreased time requirements, and superior consistency.

“Legal and General’s iMpala Project exemplifies the true spirit of innovation in the IT industry” said Amanda Hendley, Managing Director of CMG. “Their dedication to improving mainframe accessibility and achieving remarkable results in terms of versatility, time efficiency, and consistency is commendable. We are proud to honor them with the 2024 IMPACT Innovation Award, and we believe their success will inspire others to continue pushing the boundaries of IT excellence.”

The IMPACT Innovation Awards program was created in 2012 to recognize those “who have dreamed, designed, and implemented IT improvements to drive significant change and extraordinary outcomes within their organizations.” Winners of the first awards went to Capital One and Broadcom.

The Mullen Foundation provides sponsorship for the IMPACT Innovation Award. According to Foundation Chair Dr. Jeffrey P. Buzen, “This is an important aspect of the Foundation’s mission—to recognize excellence in computer performance analysis and to increase public understanding of this field.”
Source: CMG

Sonja Soderlund is an Oregon-based B2B freelance writer. Whether writing about mainframe computers, educational technology, or sustainable retail, she strives to bring clarity to complex issues. Connect with her at or LinkedIn.

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