IBM zSeries gets WebSphere upgrade

While it’s no secret that IBM Corp. has secured its spot in the mainframe market for years, the company announced Monday it has developed a new offering that it hopes will bring Web services to the large-scale systems – WebSphere V5 for zSeries operating system (z/OS).

According to IBM, the upgrade comes as a new application server for the z/OS, the company’s high-end server operating system, and is fully loaded with the latest support for J2EE and Web services standards including simple object access protocol (SOAP), Web services description language (WDSDL), universal description, discovery and integration (UDDI) and J2EE 1.3.

The new software also comes with Big Blue’s autonomic abilities, in particular workload management and security technologies that are built into the z/OS to enable continued service regardless of application, system software or hardware failures.

The IBM z/OS is the mainframe operating system that supports the IBM eServer zSeries servers. Designed to meet the service requirements of enterprise e-business, the z/OS offers a secure, scalable, high-performance base from which enterprises can deploy Internet- and Java-enabled applications, the company explained.

And, mainframes are making a comeback according to one analyst, as corporate users begin to consolidate e-business workloads on the large systems to reduce hardware and administration costs.

“We remain pretty positive about the role of the mainframe now and going forward, although mainframes are not for everyone,” said Stephen O’Grady, an analyst at RedMonk, based in Hollis, N.H. “When you are talking about delivery of important service on demand for thousands of users, a lot of administrators are looking at mainframes as a good solution….”

And, to further entice the enterprise to adopt mainframes for Web services, Big Blue is offering a flexible pricing scheme, which lets customers pay as they go for processing power as opposed a flat fee based in the number of processors included.

The company said it will offer an entry-level option for z/OS where customers can start small and build capacity as needed.

WebSphere Application Server for z/OS will be available May 2. For information, visit

– With files from IDG News Service