IBM upgrades Linux mainframe, boosting availability and AI efficiency



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The mainframe, the {hardware} stalwart that has existed for many years, is continuous to be a pressure for the trendy period.

Among the many distributors that also construct mainframes is IBM, which right now introduced the newest iteration of its Linux-focused mainframe system dubbed the LinuxOne Emperor 4. IBM has been constructing LinuxOne systems since 2015, when the primary Emperor mainframe made its debut, and has been updating the platform on a roughly two-year cadence.

The LinuxOne Emperor 4 relies on the IBM z16 mainframe that was announced by IBM in April. Whereas the z16 is optimized for IBM’s z/OS working system, the LinuxOne, not surprisingly, is all about Linux and to a big extent the Kubernetes cloud-native platform for container orchestration as nicely.

“It solely runs Linux and it’s actually meant to satisfy the wants of the individuals who run Linux-based infrastructure within the data centers by offering them a brand new paradigm round find out how to drive a Linux surroundings that’s extra environment friendly and extra scalable,” Marcel Mitran, IBM Fellow, CTO of cloud platform, IBM LinuxONE, instructed VentureBeat.


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IBM continues to construct out non-x86 {hardware} for enterprises

The LinuxOne is a part of IBM’s general {hardware} portfolio, which is aggressive in opposition to different silicon architectures, most notably x86, which is developed by Intel and AMD.

IBM additionally builds the Energy-based structure, which additionally might be optimized for Linux deployments. In July, IBM introduced a new lineup of Power10 servers for enterprise use instances. Throughout its mainframe and Energy programs portfolio, IBM reported revenue growth in its most up-to-date monetary quarter with mainframe revenues up by 69%.

Mainframes and, particularly, the LinuxOne are persevering with to seek out adoption inside monetary providers organizations all over the world. Amongst IBM’s LinuxOne customers is Citibank, which makes use of the mainframe system alongside the MongoDB database to energy a few of its mission-critical monetary providers.

Contained in the LinuxOne Emperor 4

The brand new LinuxOne Emperor 4 system helps 32 IBM Telum processors, that are constructed on a 7 nm course of. The system gives as much as 40 TB of RAIM (Redundant Array of Impartial Reminiscence) and has been designed with quantum-safe cryptographic algorithms to assist present a excessive diploma of safety.

Picture supply: IBM.

Mitran famous that the LinuxOne Emperor 4 gives “seven nines” of availability (99.99999), which interprets into solely three seconds of downtime in a yr.

The excessive availability is enabled by quite a lot of modern applied sciences together with the usage of self-healing RAIM reminiscence. Mitran stated that the brand new system additionally has a function that can allow a system core to failover to an obtainable core when wanted, instantly.

“There’s built-in know-how to do information heart failover, each from a compute and storage perspective, utilizing new know-how referred to as GDPS [Geographically Dispersed Parallel Sysplex] hyperswap know-how,” Mitran stated. “That and a lot extra of what’s engineered into these programs is how we ship on the design for seven nines of availability.”

AI inference match for an emperor

Among the many new capabilities within the LinuxOne Emperor 4 is built-in synthetic intelligence (AI) inference that’s embedded on the {hardware} layer.

AI inference is the a part of the method that makes a prediction or a choice. Mitran stated that the built-in inference with LinuxOne Emperor 4 allows the inferencing to be carried out as a part of a transaction. With out the combination, inference is finished in a separate course of, which may enhance latency. 

One frequent use case the place built-in inference may assistance is with fraud detection, which might now be carried out faster, with out unnecessarily delaying a transaction.

“By having the AI accelerator on the chip, making it extraordinarily quick, we’re capable of now run the inferencing as a part of transactional workloads,” Mitran stated.

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