IBM’s latest mainframe technology from A to Z

Many say beauty is in the details. The phrase came to mind as I entered the glass and steel skyscraper known as 3 World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan. The modern, light-infused space was a perfect backdrop to meet IBM z15 , a hybrid cloud mainframe solution for enterprise companies serious about titanium strength data security.

As I showed my credentials for the unveiling event, I expected the experience to be informative. What I didn’t expect was the emotion. Throughout the day, I felt the same rush of wonder from Georges Seurat’s soaring painting A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of Le Grande Jatte (a must-see at the Art Institute of Chicago, not far from where I live). There was no broad brush with Seurat’s art. He painstakingly applied millions of tiny dots to create his 6-by-10-foot masterpiece. In like form, IBM covered every detail from A to Z with IBM Z.

Something else, too, inspired me about IBM’s artistry as a company. From the elegant lavender blue floral centerpieces to the line-up of brilliant minds revealing the future to unique edibles like tiny potatoes wrapped in banana leaves, I was struck by fresh originality, granular attention to detail and a boldness many people do not expect from a legacy company born in 1911.

People, process and technology

 With art, it is good to stand back and take it in. IBM Z from a distance has three parts to consider: people, process and technology. The first comes with a shocking reality. According to Willis Towers Watson, 90 percent of cyber claims are caused by “some type of human error or behavior.”

Security measures, then, must thwart human-made problems. IBM Z uses end-to-end encryption everywhere. Data Privacy Passports revokes access to data stored in the hybrid cloud (a combination of third-party public and on-premise private cloud). Third-party data breaches and misuse often happen at the point when data leaves a platform. The Data Privacy Passports transforms raw data into data objects. A single table, then, gives multiple views of data for different types of access. Think of it as lines of code replacing passwords; hackers can’t figure out passwords if there aren’t any to hack.

As for process, the infrastructure promises instant recovery without cloud native development built into an enterprise product.

And, now, for the full A to Z tour

On to the details. Here’s a quick tour, from A to Z, of my day in New York learning about IBM Z, meeting engineers and users — and ravishing those banana leaf hors d’oeuvres.

The Big Apple’s energy makes it one of the most exciting places on the planet. The day was clear and bright from our view 68 floors up. It was strikingly beautiful.

Cloud Native Development assures data privacy and benefits a company’s developers. One study stated it could cut down time to market by up to 52 percent. Encryption everywhere thwarts potential risks for Fortune 1000 companies serious about tamping down cybersecurity in instances demanding large-scale data processing.

Author Jim Collins writes, “Good is the enemy of great.” In other words, just because today’s solutions work, it doesn’t mean they are the best ones for us tomorrow. IBM Z is about today and tomorrow.

IBM Z’s hybrid cloud mainframe is hacker-proof, making it the most reliable, most secure mainframe solution. Instant recovery is no joke or luxury when business stops or data is compromised. Part of the hybrid promise is continuous availability so workflow disruptions are eliminated.

Keynote speaker Ross Mauri, general manager for IBM Z and LinuxONE, talked about the future of hybrid cloud and how companies leading with vision use it for mainframe flexibility. Easy touchscreen navigation further reduces human error and streamlines daily operations, especially since passwords are not needed. When it comes to security, quality comes from both recovery and reliability.

The IBM Z unveiling event spoke volumes about the company. Salmon and shrimp topped the list of my favorites. Equal portions of both technical and C-suite conversations connected business imperatives with technology. The visual user experience and ironclad security hit upon one of the biggest worries for C-suite leaders: what might happen if our data disappears?

I’m skipping “X” for the same reasons I try to ditch the letter every time I play Scrabble.

Seriously, you should experience IBM Z firsthand. “Z” stands for zero downtime. The technology has evolved over decades. The “15” in IBM z15 means it is fifteenth generation (IBM Z helped NASA land on the moon). The solution is not, however, rooted in past wins. It connects us with the future where hybrid cloud is part of the mainframe story, encryption everywhere is the norm, and zero downtime and instant recovery are requirements. Rich details make the story both beautiful and artistic enough for us to stand back and wonder “what possibly could be next?”

My guess is IBM is composing the answer as we speak.

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