1. New IBM Mainframes
2. Cheryl Watson’s CPU Chart
1. New IBM Mainframes IBM announced today the successor to the z196. It’s called the zEnterprise EC12 or zEC12, and covers a range from 240 MIPS to over 78,000 MIPS in 161 models. The ’12’ in the name refers to the 12th generation of mainframes. IBM provides three sub-capacity models (4xx, 5xx, and 6xx) with 20 machines in each model line, and a full-capacity model (7xx) that has 101 machines ranging from 1 to 101 CPs. The speed of a single CP has been increased by more than 25% and the capacity has been increased by almost 50% (due to the speed increase and the increase in CPs from 80 to 101).
As a comparison in size, the z196 machines range from 240 MIPS to 52,286 MIPS; and the z114 machines range from 26 MIPS to 3,139 MIPS.
There are several pricing considerations, some of which are not found in the literature:
- Although IBM doesn’t publish processor prices, they indicate that they are providing a cost-per-MIPS improvement for standard engines “that is in-line with recent price improvements”, and a 20% cost-per-MIPS improvement for specialty engines. They also indicate that they’ll provide no less than a 2% price performance improvement for maintenance on standard MIPS and 20% improvement for maintenance on IFL MIPS.
- For software pricing, their “Technology Update Pricing” will provide a 2% to 7% MLC price performance for flat-capacity upgrades from a z196, and IFLs will maintain a PVU rating of 120 for software.
- When moving from a z196 to a zEC12, there will be an upgrade charge for zIIPs and zAAPs. That’s only reasonable since these new specialty processors are 25% faster.
- The new IBM System z Advanced Workload Analysis Reporter (IBM zAware) feature of the zEC12 runs in a separate LPAR and reviews standard format OPERLOG messages to determine if there is a change in normal processing. This can identify problems faster and reduce the time to recovery. IBM zAware comes at a price of $40K (in the U.S.) for ten CPs, and is sold only in units of ten.
- The zEC12 boasts new solid-state devices (SSDs) called Flash Express that serve as an intermediate storage for paging that is somewhere (microseconds) between auxiliary storage (milliseconds) and real storage memory (nanoseconds) in speed. That is listed at about $125K (in the U.S.) per PCIe pair (1.6 TB, mirrored for RAID). Flash Express is only available with z/OS 1.13 and PTFs. A maximum of four pairs of Flash Express are available on a CPC.
- If upgrading from a z196 with an attached zBX Model 002, the zBX will be upgraded to a Model 003 at no additional charge. While this doesn’t bring any additional speed to the ZBX, it provides additional management with the Unified Resource Manager.
- The option of a non-raised floor using a new radiator-based air cooled system in the same footprint as a z196 or z10 EC may provide additional considerations for new data centers.
You can probably expect a BC version of this machine in 12 to 18 months.
The website for the zEC12 is found at
On this site, you can find access to a replay of a webcast that describes the benefits of the new machine.
The U.S. announcement #112-155 was published on August 28, 2012.
Although the emphasis of this new processor in on increased capacity and speed, I think it’s significant that it maintains the same energy requirements and footprint as the z196, and at a lower cost per MIPS. Before you order a z196, you owe it to your checkbook to investigate the zEC12.
2. Cheryl Watson’s System z CPU Charts
As most of you know, in addition to Cheryl Watson’s Tuning Letter, we also publish Cheryl Watson’s System z CPU Charts. These CPU charts provide average, minimum, and maximum MIPS for 921 IBM processor configurations. Subscribers to the Tuning Letterreceive the CPU Chart as part of their subscription. Software companies can subscribe to the CPU Chart alone in order to distribute copies to all of their offices. For pricing and information on our CPU Charts, please see www.watsonwalker.com/chart.html.
Current subscribers may receive a draft of the zEC12 CPU Chart upon request right now or wait for the final CPU Chart and in-depth analysis in mid-September. The new charts will also include, for the first time, spreadsheets for z/VM and Linux on System z.
Our CPU Charts provide a single source for the following information that, while available on separate IBM websites, combines the data into a single PDF and spreadsheet: CPU model, number of physical CPUs, service units per second, software licensing group, software pricing MSUs (Millions of Service Units), IBM’s PCI, GA dates, common name, architecture level, STDIP, and STSI model.
In addition, only our charts provide the following: MIPS for low-RNI, low-average RNI, average-RNI, average-high-RNI, and high-RNI; average RNI MIPS per CP; UP service units per second; MP degradation; hardware MSUs; software and hardware MIPS/MSU; and speed of the specialty processors (ICF, IFL, zAAP, zIIP) for each model. Our Tuning Letter 2012 No. 4 will also provide an in-depth analysis of the new processors and how they compare to the current processors. When the z196 was introduced, our Tuning Letter 2010 No. 4contained 34 pages of analysis, including over 20 charts and graphs. You won’t find this anywhere else.