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The latest IBM Z capabilities

4/15/2020 by Ross A. Mauri

LRS IT Solutions has been delivering IBM mainframe solutions for over a quarter century. We’ve been configuring, selling, and installing IBM System Z solutions since the product line launched in 2006.

Because of our deep experience with IBM big iron, we were excited about the latest announcement from IBM and decided to share it here.

IBM Z deepens data privacy capabilities with new air-cooled models and IBM Secure Execution for Linux

By Ross Mauri

In September 2019, IBM announced IBM z15™, delivering industry-first data privacy capabilities with the ability to manage the privacy of customer data across hybrid multicloud environments and to scale from one to four frames. For our clients on their journeys to cloud, IBM z15™ and IBM LinuxONE III was a major step toward encrypting everywhere, cloud native development and IBM Z Instant Recovery–but we aren’t stopping there.

Announcing IBM z15 Model T02, IBM LinuxONE III Model LT2 and IBM Secure Execution for Linux

Every day, clients of all sizes are examining their hybrid IT environments, looking for flexibility, responsiveness and ways to cut costs to fuel their digital transformations. To help address these needs, today IBM is making two announcements. The first is two new single-frame, air-cooled platforms– IBM z15 Model T02 and IBM LinuxONE III Model LT2–designed to build on the capabilities of z15. The second, is IBM Secure Execution for Linux, a new offering designed to help protect from internal and external threats across the hybrid cloud. The platforms and offering will become generally available on May 15, 2020.

Expanding privacy with IBM Secure Execution for Linux

According to the Ponemon Institute’s 2020 Cost of an Insider Breach Report[1] sponsored by IBM, insider threats are steadily increasing. From 2016 to 2019, the average number of incidents involving employee or contractor negligence has increased from 10.5 to 14.5–and the average number of credential theft incidents per company has tripled over the past three years, from 1.0 to 3.2.[2] IBM Secure Execution for Linux helps to mitigate these concerns by enabling clients to isolate large numbers of workloads with granularity and at scale, within a trusted execution environment available on all members of the z15 and LinuxONE III families.

For clients with highly sensitive workloads such as cryptocurrency and blockchain services, keeping data secure is even more critical. That’s why IBM Secure Execution for Linux works by establishing secured enclaves that can scale to host these sensitive workloads and provide both enterprise-grade confidentiality and protection for sensitive and regulated data. For our clients, this is the latest step toward delivering a highly secure platform for mission-critical workloads.

For years, Vicom has worked with LinuxONE and Linux® on Z to solve clients’ business challenges as a reseller and integrator. On learning how IBM Secure Execution for Linux can help clients, Tom Amodio, President, Vicom Infinity said, “IBM’s Secure Execution, and the evolution of confidential computing on LinuxONE, give our clients the confidence they need to build and deploy secure hybrid clouds at scale.”

Simplifying your regulatory requirements for highly sensitive workloads

In addition to the growing risk of insider threats, our clients are also facing complexity around new compliance regulations such as GDPR and the California Consumer Privacy Act, demonstrating that workload isolation and separation of control are becoming even more important for companies of all sizes to ensure the integrity of each application and its data across platforms. IBM Secure Execution for Linux provides an alternative to air-gapped or separated dedicated hardware typically required for sensitive workloads.

Delivering cyber resiliency and flexible compute

Building on recent announcements around encrypting everywhere, cloud-native and IBM Z Instant Recovery capabilities, as well as support for Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform and Red Hat Ansible Certified Content for IBM Z, these two new members of the IBM Z and LinuxONE families bring new cyber resiliency and flexible compute capabilities to clients including:

  • Enterprise Key Management Foundation–Web Edition provides centralized, secured management of keys for robust IBM z/OS® management.
  • Flexible compute: Increased core and memory density with 2 central processor complex drawer design provides increased physical capacity and an enhanced high availability option. Clients can have up to 3 I/O drawers and can now support up to 40 crypto processors.
  • Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform 4.3: The latest release, planned for general availability this month on IBM Z and LinuxONE.

Complementary IBM Storage enhancements

In addition, IBM also announced new updates to our IBM Storage offerings for IBM Z. The IBM DS8900F all-flash array and IBM TS7700 virtual tape library both now offer smaller footprint options. This week the TS7700 family announced a smaller footprint, with flexible configurations for businesses of all sizes and different needs that can be mounted in an industry-standard 19-inch rack.

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About the author

Ross A. Mauri is the General Manager for IBM Z. In that capacity, he is responsible for all facets of z System’s business including strategy, architecture, technology development, operating systems, tooling, z Systems software, including CICS and IMS, operations, and overall financial performance.