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In the 21st Century Digital Age in which servers and applications are increasingly interconnected via public, hybrid and on-premises cloud networks; virtualization and Internet of Things (IoT), organizations require near flawless security, system availability and reliability.

Unplanned downtime irrespective of the reason is unacceptable and costly due to its negative impact on productivity. When network servers, OSs and applications are unavailable, business ceases. This has a domino effect on corporate enterprises, customers, business partners and suppliers. Four nines – 99.99% uptime is now the minimum reliability required by 79% of organizations.

IBM Z Next Features

The IBM Z, the 14th generation of IBM’s industry-leading mainframe technology, advances the already solid and robust security and reliability features inherent in the platform over the last decade. It also amps up the processing power to new levels. The IBM z14 has the ability to process 12 Billion encrypted transactions daily. It accomplishes this via the industry’s fastest microprocessor and a new scalable system structure that delivers a 35 percent capacity increase for traditional workloads and a 50 percent capacity increase for Linux workloads compared to the previous generation IBM z13.The system can support:

  • More than 12 billion encrypted transactions per day on a single system.
  • The world’s largest MongoDB instance with2.5x faster NodeJS performance than x86-based platforms.
  • Two million Docker Containers.
  • 1,000 concurrent NoSQL databases.

Other new capabilities in the IBM Z Next include:

  • • Three times the memory of the z13 for faster response times, greater throughput and accelerated analytics performance. With 32TB of memory, IBM Z offers one of the largest memory footprints in the industry.
  • Three times faster I/O and accelerated transaction processing compared to the z13 to drive growth in data, transaction throughput and lower response time.
  • Pervasive Encryption for rock solid security.
  • The ability to run Java workloads 50 percent faster than x86 alternatives
  • Improved Storage Area Network response time with zHyperLink, delivering 10x latency reduction compared to the z13. This cuts application response time in half – enabling businesses to do much more work such as real-time analytics or interact with Internet of Things (IoT) devices and cloud applications within the same transaction, without changing a single line of application code.
  • IBM also previewed new z/OS software that provides foundational capabilities for private cloud service delivery. This allows organizations to transform from an IT cost center to a value-generating service provider. When available, these capabilities will include the support of workflow extensions for IBM Cloud Provisioning and Management for z/OS and real-time SMF analytics infrastructure support.

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 IBM z Systems Enterprise; IBM Power Systems Servers Most Reliable for Ninth Straight Year;  Lenovo x86 Servers Deliver Highest Uptime/Availability among all Intel x86-based Systems

For the ninth year in a row, corporate enterprise users said IBM’s z Systems Enterprise mainframe class server achieved near flawless reliability, recording less than 10 seconds of unplanned per server downtime each month. Among mainstream servers,  IBM Power Systems devices and the Lenovo x86 platform delivered the highest levels of reliability/uptime among 14 server hardware and 11 different server hardware virtualization platforms.

Those are the results of the ITIC 2017 Global Server Hardware and Server OS Reliability survey which polled 750 organizations worldwide during April/May 2017.

Among the top survey findings:

  • IBM z Systems Enterprise mainframe class systems, had the lowest incident – 0% — of > 4 hours of per server/per annum downtime of any hardware platform. Specifically, IBM z Systems mainframe class servers exhibit true mainframe fault tolerance experiencing just 0.96 minutes of   of unplanned per server annual downtime. That equates to 8 seconds per month or “blink and you miss it,” 2 seconds of unplanned weekly downtime. This is an improvement over the 1.12 minutes of per server/per annum downtime the z Systems servers recorded in ITIC’s 2016 – 2017 Reliability poll nine months ago.
  • Among mainstream hardware platforms, IBM Power Systems and Lenovo System x running Linux have least amount of unplanned downtime 2.5 and 2.8 minutes per server/per year of any mainstream Linux server platforms.
  • 88% of IBM Power Systems and 87% of Lenovo System x users running RHEL, SuSE or Ubuntu Linux experience fewer than one unplanned outage per server, per year.
  • Tenly two percent of IBM and Lenovo servers recorded >4 hours of unplanned per server/per annum downtime; followed by six percent of HPE servers; eight percent of Dell servers and 10% of Oracle servers.
  • IBM and Lenovo hardware and the Linux operating system distributions were either first or second in every reliability category, including virtualization and security.
  • Lenovo x86 servers achieved the highest reliability ratings among all competing x86 platforms
  • Lenovo Takes Top Marks for Technical Service and Support: Lenovo tech support the best followed by Cisco and IBM
  • Some 66% of survey respondents said aged hardware (3 ½+ years old) had a negative impact on server uptime and reliability vs. 21% that said it has not impacted reliability/uptime. This is 22% increase from the 44% who said outmoded hardware negatively impacted uptime in 2014
  • Reliability continues to decline for the fifth year in a row on the HP ProLiant and Oracle’s SPARC & x86 hardware and Solaris OS. Reliability on the Oracle platforms declined slightly mainly due to aging. Many Oracle hardware customers are eschewing upgrades, opting instead to migrate to rival platforms.
  • Some 16% of Oracle customers rated service & support as Poor or Unsatisfactory. Dissatisfaction with Oracle licensing and pricing policies remains consistently high for the last three years.
  • Only 1% of Cisco, 1% of Dell, 1% of IBM and Lenovo, 3% of HP, 3% of Fujitsu and 4% of Toshiba users gave those vendors “Poor” or “Unsatisfactory” customer support ratings.

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“We have met the enemy and it is us.”

This quote aptly describes the current state of security and cyber security.

End users now arguably pose a bigger immediate and ongoing threat to the cyber security of consumer and corporate devices, applications and networks.

Those are the findings of ITIC’s latest 2017 Security Survey which found that 80% of 650 corporate respondents said that end user carelessness and failure to implement and install security on their BYOD and mobile devices are more dangerous than targeted hacks and rogue code.

That said, the organizations which ranged from SMBs with 25 users to large enterprises with over 10,000 employees, are painfully aware of the threat posed by Ransomware, Bots, Phishing scams, Trojans, Viruses, other types of malware and even targeted corporate espionage, are all capable and culpable of wreaking havoc.

Cyber security and protecting corporate and consumer assets and will always be, a 50-50 proposition. End users and IT administrators, own 50% of the responsibility to secure their devices and adhere to safe computing practices. For starters, this means getting security training and actually installing and utilizing security mechanisms. Too often, corporate employees and consumers disable security safeguards because of usability issues. Similarly, security vendors bear 50% of the responsibility to incorporate strong security mechanisms into their products. The onus is also on vendors to provide businesses and consumers with regular updates. Transparency is also a must for the entire vendor community; they must respond quickly, acknowledge security flaws when they occur and quickly move to deliver guidance and release fixes when bugs or glitches are discovered.

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