Roads are old. In antiquity roads were used for conquest and commerce. They stretched from Rome to Hadrian’s Wall in Great Britain. The Silk Road, comprising trade routes that knitted together Europe and Asia, was first established over 2,000 years ago. Yet roads remain vitally important today. The Internet – originally known as the Information Superhighway – makes it possible to trade goods in ways that would have been unimaginable 25 years ago. Without last-mile delivery across asphalt and concrete, all of the information technology that we take for granted today would be useless. To find out if quality roads are important to e-commerce, ask a UPS driver around 6:00 p.m. on Christmas Eve. In 2012 there is a consensus across business and government that infrastructure projects to rebuild roads and bridges will pay dividends both now and in the future.
Since the 1950’s – “antiquity” in information technology terms – IBM mainframe computers have revolutionized how goods and services are created, bought, sold, and distributed. Yet these mainframes are just as essential today. Retail banking and networks of ATMs around the globe rely on IBM’s System z servers. Everything from airplanes to pharmaceuticals to sophisticated weapons systems are designed and managed on mainframes. Redundancy and seamless fail-over mean that these systems vital to our economic and national security are available not just around the clock, but around the calendar. Ask yourself:
• When is the last time I was told a mainframe had to be “rebooted” because that was the only way to correct a problem that no one could figure out?
• When is the last time I heard that a mainframe computer was laid low by a hacker or virus?
The US Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Criminal Justice Information System is used by local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies. It pairs two System z servers joined by advanced IBM replication technology to provide continuous availability because the bad guys never take a night off. If this system is unavailable for even 15 minutes – the time McDonald’s retains a cooked hamburger – the protocol is to notify the Director of the FBI. That call has never been made.
So why aren’t more enterprises exploiting this technology? Why don’t Google and Facebook run on mainframes? Many companies value the incremental cost of acquisition over total cost of ownership. Cool young engineers buy commodity PCs. CFOs buy mainframes.
IBM zEnterprise servers are greener, more cost-effective, more reliable, more secure, and more flexible than any other information processing platform on the market today. In developing countries, where capital is tighter and time horizons typically longer, mainframe acquisition and growth are greater than in mature economies. IBM has added more net-new System z accounts in the last five quarters than in the last five years. And zEnterprise mainframes integrate seamlessly with RISC and Intel servers to provide a single information processing image that can be managed and scaled to meet the demands of your business for a fraction of the cost in time and personnel than vast server farms.
IBM System z: the smarter choice for a Smarter Planet sponsored by the best swiss army knife in the world.