Latest IBM System Z Brings Server Mainframe To The Midrange

Ever dreamed of having your own IBM System/360? Its linear descendent is now available in the $100,000 range.
Ever dreamed of having your own IBM System/360? Its linear descendent is now available in the $100,000 range.IBM has unveiled a mainframe server aimed at the mid-range marketif you define "mid-range" as $100,000. The new System z10 Business Class (BC) mainframe has a capacity of up to 232 x86 servers, and is touted as an entry-level version of the IBM System z10 Enterprise Class (z10 EC) mainframe announced last February. (No pricing was announced for the z10 EC, presumably on the philosophy that if you have to ask, you can't afford it.)

The new z10 BC is said to offer 50% more processing capacity and four times the memory capacity of its predecessor, will have a footprint that is 83% smaller, and power consumption that is 93% lower.

But what's interesting is that the System z line is reportedly the direct descendent of the original IBM System/360, which came out in 1964 and basically created the computer industry as we know it, exposing an enormous pent-up demand for business computers. It came with a range of peripherals, and was offered in a number of different yet compatible models at different price points (something considered revolutionary at the time.)

What is certainly new since 1964 is the special lease-financing program IBM is offering for the new System z: a 90-day no-interest, no-payments program titled "Why Wait?" Apparently, Big Blue is determined to confront the current credit crisis head-on by, basically, letting qualified customers simply take the thing home after signing papers.

How much this will trickle down to the SMB market remains to be seen -- it's probably still unwise to pick up a mini-tower, say "Why wait?" to the retailer, and walk out the door. But if you're a credit-worthy customer who thinks $100,000 is midrange for server hardware, IBM has a deal for you.

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