IBM Corp. showed off its newest and most capable mainframe to date on Thursday, the zEnterprise EC12, a successor to the System z11 and zEnterprise 196 enterprise systems.

In a press release, the company said the new mainframe server will not only outperform its predeccesors, but has also been designed with more capabilities to handle the most cutting-edge applications, such as cloud computing and analytics. It is also the first regular IBM server to use transactional memory, a technology that automatically locks and unlocks memory, improving system stability, and was previously developed for use in IBM supercomputers.

Another first is the inclusion of internal solid-state storage into the EC12. This will hold special appeal for businesses such as financial institutions that run mission critical applications that require fast I/O speeds, IBM says.
Finally, it is the first IBM mainframe that does not have to be installed on a raised portion of data centre floor, making connecting power and cabling a more straightforward process.

IBM says the EC12 will boast 25 per cent more performance per CPU core and has 50 per cent greater system capacity than the 196.  It can also perform analytics 30 per cent faster than the latter. It will retain the data security profile of the 196, however, which had earned a Common Criteria Evaluation Level 5+ rating (an international standards body that assesses data security, among other things). Based on Common Criteria ratings, both systems represent the most secure products IBM had produced.

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