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IBM Extends Information Server To System Z

The software is intended to enable "information on demand" SOA frameworks for banking, retail, telecommunications, and the public sector

IBM is extending its Information Server data integration software to provide support for its System z servers, providing the mainframe customers with a unified platform for information management.

Introduced a year ago for use with non-mainframe servers within IBM, the Information Server "enables organizations to integrate, cleanse, and deliver trusted business information," said Sean Crowley, Information Server program manager at IBM. The platform provides the ability for organizations to integration information sources, and work within a single framework to eliminate inconsistencies, inaccuracies, duplications, or omissions.

"We heard from the z customer based that they wanted to be able to leverage the reliability, performance, and security of the Information Server," Crowley said in an interview. "They like the idea of having one place to go to understand the lineage of data, the impact of changes, and to support data governance and risk mitigation strategies."

IBM worked with a beta group of about 50 customers in preparing for the Information Server release a year ago, and that has included a "select" number of System z customers, the company said. IBM has scheduled general availability of Information Server for System z in November, he said. IBM will initially offer support for Linux, and plans to extend to other operating systems in 2008.

The Information Server provides greater visibility in system data, and provides an ability to cleanse data of inconsistencies and duplications, allowing businesses to "consolidate data down to a single version of the truth," Crowley said. The platform has ETL (Extracting, Transforming, and Loading) capability, allowing it to extract data from multiple systems, transform it to a common standardized format, and then load into an appropriate application to enable intelligent delivery of services.

"It's about having the confidence in your data to deliver trusted business information and enabling dynamic business optimization within organizations today," he said.

The software is intended to enable "information on demand" frameworks for banking, retail, telecommunications, and the public sector that combine software, strategic planning services, and pre-configured templates to help customers use information as a strategic asset. Modules offered within the platform have been built with expertise gained from hundreds of customer engagements, along with proven data and business process models, Crowley said.

Information Sever utilizes metadata-driven integration that visually depicts the relationships among data sources and data users, and provides the proof of data lineage required by many compliance regulations directly on the mainframe.

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