Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 28th Feb 2008 17:04 UTC, submitted by Moulinneuf
IBM IBM has unveiled its latest mainframe, the System z10. The product is designed to improve performance and reduce power requirements and cooling costs. The new machine, based on quad-core technology, is equivalent, in terms of performance to nearly 1500 x86 servers, according to IBM. The z10 is designed to be up to 50% faster and offers up to 100% performance improvement for CPU-intensive jobs compared with its predecessor, the z9, with up to 70% more capacity, IBM said. IBM said the new mainframe would also consume 85% less energy and have a footprint that is up to 85% smaller.
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> With a mainframe, you're paying for an incredible piece of engineering with no compromise on component quality and incredible levels of reliability out-of-the-box. We're talking run-time self-diagnostic fault isolation, fault-tolerant non-disruptive hot swappable components, execution integrity, in-flight processor migration from failing units, self-diagnosis and predictive deconfiguration of troublesome components, and the ability to remove *all* single points of failure -- short of someone nuking the site from orbit (along with the backup data centers).

> Taking one specific example, processing units have internal mirror functionality, effectively executing instructions twice and comparing the result

As I have said before the features you pointed are not unique to mainframes, pretty much all of those reliability, serviceability, availability features are available at a fraction of a price in high end Unix system. Just look at the Sun SPARC M9000 or even the old Sun Fire F25k, the former can do everything you outlined above including memory mirroring and instruction retry. And you get these features on a platform that is running an open-source operating system (Solaris). Mainframe is way past its prime, the only reason it's still alive is because of the inertia and proprietary lockin.

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