IBM rolls out new mainframe

IBM Corp. rolls out a new mainframe computer Tuesday boasting a 50 percent performance boost and dramatically lower energy costs than its predecessor. The new System z10, with a starting price at about $1 million, comes as IBM focuses on lowering the price tag for running its storied line of data-crunching workhorses. The Armonk, N.Y.-based […]

IBM Corp. rolls out a new mainframe computer Tuesday boasting a 50 percent performance boost and dramatically lower energy costs than its predecessor.

The new System z10, with a starting price at about $1 million, comes as IBM focuses on lowering the price tag for running its storied line of data-crunching workhorses.

The Armonk, N.Y.-based company said it designed the new machine to help companies and government agencies that rely on mainframes - usually for critical data processing such as bank transactions or census statistics crunching - save money on energy bills and better handle a flood of Internet information.

The size of IBM's investment - the company spent five years and $1.5 billion developing the new mainframe - also underscores its commitment to the long-term viability of the mainframe and efforts continue adapting the decades-old product line to the Internet age.

For years some IT experts predicted the demise of the mainframe, bulky and expensive machines that face competition from smaller, less-expensive servers. But IBM says mainframe revenue is growing, rising in 5 out of the last 7 quarters, thanks in part to interest from emerging markets like Brazil, China, India and Russia.

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