IBM Releases Next Generation Transaction system IBM Z

IBM Z mainframe ushers in a new era of data protection with pervasive encryption

IBM Z mainframe ushers in a new era of data protection with pervasive encryption

This is a massively powerful mainframe featuring the industry's fastest microprocessor clocked at 5.2GHz and a new scalable system architecture that delivers up a 35 percent capacity increase for both traditional workloads and Linux workloads, compared to the z13. Just as importantly, it offers pervasive encryption so that all data is encrypted all of the time, whether it is part of an application, cloud service, or chunks of bits in a database.

"IBM Z's new data encryption capabilities are created to address the global epidemic of data breaches, a major factor in the $8 trillion cyber crime impact on the global economy by 2022", explained IBM. In addition, data can be encrypted in bulk given improvements in the silicon dedicated to the cryptographic algorithms. As a result, encryption performance is seven times faster than on IBM's previous-generation z13 mainframe and, according to IBM, 18 times faster than systems powered by Intel Corp.'s x86 chips. While traditionally auditors manually inspect and validate the security of databases, applications and systems, IBM Z allows significantly reducing the complexity and cost of compliance for auditors.

Cybersecurity has become a top priority for IBM's mainframe customers in recent years. Obviously, if data is spilled or stolen somehow, at least if it's encrypted, it can't be used by cybercriminals (or that's the theory).

The Z mainframe also has the ability to destroy encryption keys if tampering or interference is detected - encrypting the programming interfaces which link the apps and services.

IBM Z, deeply integrated with IBM Security software, automates and dramatically streamline security and compliance processes.

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The new system also introduces a new encryption engine that the company says will, for the first time, make it possible to pervasively encrypt data associated with any application, cloud service or database all the time. Only IBM Z can protect millions of keys (as well as the process of accessing, generating and recycling them) in "tamper responding" hardware that causes keys to be invalidated at any sign of intrusion and can then be reconstituted in safety.

The other driving factor is the increase in regulations by governments around the world aimed at protecting information, including the European Union's (EU) General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which goes into effect next year. "Data centers previously had to decide what they would encrypt". While IBM plays an important role in online commerce (its transaction engine handles 87 percent of credit card payments), many companies would likely have to upgrade before you'd see the benefit.

1 000 concurrent NoSQL databases. There can be up to 32TB of memory, three times the z13 maximum, and its IO is three times faster as well.

Along with the mainframe announcement, IBM also announced the launch of IBM Cloud BlockChain data centers in six cities worldwide, all using z14 mainframes. At the time we wrote it was grunty enough to do "real time encryption of all mobile transactions at any scale" up to a claimed 2.5 billion transactions a day.

There is coming z/OS software that will provide capabilities for private cloud service delivery, that will include support of workflow extensions for IBM Cloud Provisioning and Management for z/OS and real-time SMF analytics infrastructure support.

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