IBM Revamps Mainframes With Eye On Data Protection

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Customers of the previous z13 mainframe can take advantage of the new pervasive encryption features by upgrading the operating system and software, but they won't get the performance boost that the new IBM Z mainframe provides, Perera said. 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.

"There is a global epidemic of data theft".

Besides working for its existing customer base, IBM is hoping the new IBM Z will attract new customers, such as companies that have traditionally used x86 servers (the bulk of the market) and companies that want to provide cloud services, Hurwitz said.

The system has an encryption engine, has a 7x increase in cryptographic performance over the z13, with a 4x increase in silicon dedicated to cryptographic algorithms. The system's advanced cryptographic capability can now extend across any data, network, external device or entire application - such as the IBM Cloud Blockchain service - with no application changes and no impact on business service level agreements.

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The new system arrives following a number of major data breaches, with only four percent of the 9 billion records lost or stolen since 2013 being encrypted. Today, the company unveiled the z14, its latest z-Series mainframe, which comes with the considerable draw of full encryption. Under the new law, organizations will have to demonstrate that data is encrypted and keys are protected.

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.

In a statement provided by IBM, International Data Corp. analyst Peter Rutten called the Z "the first system with an all-encompassing solution to the security threats and breaches we've been witnessing in the past 24 months". According to the company, this is faster than x86 systems, which only focus on limited slices of data. "Data centers previously had to decide what they would encrypt".

The new encryption engine is capable of running more than 12 billion encrypted transactions every day.

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IBM Z is created to help clients comply with standards like EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and it is deeply integrated with IBM Security software. IBM's key management system hardware causes keys to self-destruct in response to intrusions, and they are then reconstituted after the intrusion, the company said. It supports 2,000,000 Docker containers and 1,000 concurrent NoSQL databases. 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.

An analysis from Toni Sacconaghi Jr for Bernstein Research says IBM's hardware business is in secular decline, and, while mainframe hardware contributes just 3 per cent of Big Blue's revenues, the overall mainframe platform accounted for almost a quarter of total IBM revenues and an estimated 40 per cent of profits in 2016.

Computer hardware in general and large mainframe-style computers have taken a big hit in the dawning era of cloud computing.

Container pricing for IBM Z is planned to be available by year-end 2017 and enabled in z/OS V2.2 and z/OS V2.3.

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