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For the tenth straight year, IBM and Lenovo servers again achieved top rankings in ITIC’s 2017 – 2018 Global Server Hardware and Server OS Reliability survey.

 IBM’s Z Systems Enterprise server is in a class of its own. The IBM mainframe continues to exhibit peerless reliability besting all competitors. The Z recorded less than 10 seconds of unplanned per server downtime each month. Additionally less than one-half of one percent of all IBM Z customers reported unplanned outages that totaled greater than four (4) hours of system downtime in a single year.

Among mainstream servers, IBM Power Systems 7 and 8 and the Lenovo x86 X6 mission critical hardware consistently deliver the highest levels of reliability/uptime among 14 server hardware and 11 different mainstream server hardware virtualization platforms. Each platform averaged just 2.1 minutes of unplanned per annum/per server downtime (See Exhibit 1). 

That makes the IBM Power Systems and Lenovo x 86 servers approximately 17 to 18 times more stable and available, than the least reliable distributions – the rival Oracle and HPE ProLiant servers.

 Additionally, the latest ITIC survey results indicate just one percent of IBM Power Systems and Lenovo System x servers experienced over four (4) hours of unplanned annual downtime. This is the best showing among the 14 different server platforms surveyed.

ITIC’s 10th annual independent ITIC 2017 – 2018 Global Server Hardware and Server OS Reliability survey polled 800 organizations worldwide from August through December 2017.  In order to obtain the most accurate and unbiased results, ITIC accepted no vendor sponsorship.

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The cost of downtime continues to increase as do the business risks. An 81% majority of organizations now require a minimum of 99.99% availability. This is the equivalent of 52 minutes of unplanned outages related to downtime for mission critical systems and applications or ,just 4.33 minutes of unplanned monthly outage for servers, applications and networks.                                         

 Over 98% of large enterprises with more than 1,000 employees say that on average, a single hour of downtime per year costs their company over $100,000, while an 81% of organizations report that the cost exceeds $300,000. Even more significantly: three in 10 enterprises – 33% – indicate that hourly downtime costs their firms $1 million or more (See Exhibit 1). It’s important to note that these statistics represent the “average” hourly cost of downtime.  In a worst case scenario – if any device or application becomes unavailable for any reason the monetary losses to the organization can reach millions per minute. Devices, applications and networks can become unavailable for myriad reasons. These include: natural and man-made catastrophes; faulty hardware; bugs in the application; security flaws or hacks and human error. Business-related issues, such as a Regulatory Compliance related inspection or litigation, can also force the organization to shutter its operations. For whatever the reason, when the network and its systems are unavailable, productivity grinds to a halt and business ceases.   

Highly regulated vertical industries like Banking and Finance, Food, Government, Healthcare, Hospitality, Hotels, Manufacturing, Media and Communications, Retail, Transportation and Utilities must also factor in the potential losses related to litigation as well as civil penalties stemming from organizations’ failure to meet Service Level Agreements (SLAs) or Compliance Regulations. Moreover, for a select three percent of organizations, whose businesses are based on high level data transactions, like banks and stock exchanges, online retail sales or even utility firms, losses may be calculated in millions of dollars per minute.

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Security. Reliability. Performance. Analytics. Services.

These are the most crucial considerations for corporate enterprises in choosing a hardware platform. The underlying server hardware functions as the foundational element for the business’ entire infrastructure and interconnected environment. Today’s 21st century Digital Age networks are characterized by increasingly demand-intensive workloads; the need to use Big Data analytics to analyze and interpret the massive volumes and variety of data to make proactive decisions and keep the business competitive. Security is a top priority. It’s absolutely essential to safeguard sensitive data and Intellectual Property (IP) from sophisticated, organized external hackers and defend against threats posed by internal employees.

The latest IBM z13s enterprise server delivers embedded security, state-of-the-art analytics and unparalleled reliability, performance and throughput. It is fine tuned for hybrid cloud environments. And it’s especially useful as a secure foundational element in Internet of Things (IoT) deployments. The newly announced, z13s is highly robust: it supports the most compute-intensive workloads in hybrid cloud and on-premises environments. The newest member of the z Systems family, the z13s, incorporates advanced, embedded cryptography features in the hardware that allow it to encrypt and decrypt data twice as fast as previous generations, with no reduction in transactional throughput owing to the updated cryptographic coprocessor for every chip core and tamper-resistant hardware-accelerated cryptographic coprocessor cards.

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IBM Power Systems Servers Most Reliable for Seventh Straight Year; Lenovo x86 Servers Deliver Highest Uptime/Availability among all Intel x86-based Systems; Cisco UCS Stays Strong; Dell Reliability Ratchets Up; Intel Xeon Processor E7 v3 chips incorporate advanced analytics; significantly boost reliability of x86-based servers

In 2016 and beyond, infrastructure reliability is more essential than ever.

The overall health of network operations, applications, management and security functions all depend on the core foundational elements: server hardware, server operating systems and virtualization to deliver high availability, robust management and solid security. The reliability of the server, server OS and virtualization platforms are the cornerstones of the entire network infrastructure. The individual and collective reliability of these platforms have a direct, immediate and long lasting impact on daily operations and business results. For the seventh year in a row, corporate enterprise users said IBM server hardware delivered the highest levels of reliability/uptime among 14 server hardware and 11 different server hardware virtualization platforms. A 61% majority of IBM Power Systems servers and Lenovo System x servers achieved “five nines” or 99.999% availability – the equivalent of 5.25 minutes of unplanned per server /per annum downtime compared to 46% of Hewlett-Packard servers and 40% of Oracle server hardware.

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Eight out of 10 — 82% — of the over 600 respondents to ITIC’s 2014-2015 Global Server Hardware and Server OS Reliability survey say security issues negatively impact overall server, operating system and network reliability. Of that figure a 53% majority of those polled say that security vulnerabilities and hacks have a “moderate,” “significant” or “crucial impact on network availability and uptime (See Exhibit 1).

Overall, the latest ITIC survey results showed that organizations are still more reactive than proactive regarding security threats. Some 15% of the over 600 global corporate respondents are extremely lax: some seven percent said that security issues have no impact on their environment while another eight percent indicated that they don’t keep track of whether or not security issues negatively affect the uptime and availability of their networks. In contrast, 24% of survey participants or one-in-four said security has a “significant” or “crucial” negative impact on network reliability and performance.

Still, despite the well documented and high profile hacks into companies like Target, eBay, Google and other big name vendors this year, the survey found that seven-out-of-10 firms – 70% – are generally confident in the security of their hardware, software and applications – until they get hacked.

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