by CIO Staff

IBM Eyes Mainframe Security

Mar 30, 20063 mins
IT Strategy

With the financial sector already one of the strongest adopters of mainframe technology, IBM is looking to capitalize further on its presence in this market by introducing the System Z9 integrated information processor (zIIP).

With the zIIP, IBM is looking to support mainframe concepts like business resiliency, workload management, hubs for data and service-oriented architecture (SOA).

The zIIP is a specialty engine that will run eligible database workloads and is designed to help free up general computing capacity. The zIIP better enables data to be centralized on the mainframe. With the zIIP capability, the System z9 mainframe helps minimize the need to maintain duplicate copies of the data and provides better security between the applications and the data.

IBM general manager Jim Stallings said that with data being the core of today’s most critical businesses, IBM’s System z9 mainframe with a zIIP engine can orchestrate information resources. “When users centralize their data on the mainframe, they may decrease the risks associated with having multiple copies of data across diverse systems.”

Aside from decreasing the risks from having more than one copy of the data, Stallings added that audit, compliance and business recovery is easier to manage when there is only a single copy of the data.

The addition of zIIP to the System z9 mainframe bolsters IBM’s portfolio of data management capabilities that stem from deep data and transaction processing. The new System z9 with zIIP is then positioned as an enterprise hub of sorts, with connectivity to other systems, applications and development languages. “The mainframe with zIIP engine can increasingly play an essential role as a security-ready enterprise data hub,” said Stallings.

Jon Oltsik, senior analyst at the enterprise strategy group at IBM, said that for IBM to be successful in this goal, the mainframe must be supported with strong security. For this reason, IBM has united its flagship database DB2 and operating system z/OS that add data protection features such as multilevel security access, centralized management of encryption keys, data intrusion detection services, and protection of data stored on tape.


With 95 percent of the world’s largest banks using IBM mainframes, IBM eServer executive briefing center team leader David Anderson said that IBM is expanding beyond the financial sector. “We have the best solution today. We are expanding beyond the financial sector by utilizing our mid-market machines,” said Anderson.

Also in the pipeline this year for IBM is the introduction of the next version of DB2 for z/OS, which contains advances for mainframe computing. IBM’s next version of its flagship database is designed to cut IT infrastructure costs, streamline efforts to meet compliance obligations, and simplify data serving on the System z9 by providing enhanced XML, IBM WebSphere and Java integration for SOA connections.

It also provides trusted security context database roles, better auditing capabilities, improved encryption for security, fast table replacement, partition by growth and SQL improvements.

-April B. Rojales, Computerworld Philippines

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