IBM Announces Z Mainframe With Comprehensive End-to-End Data Encryption For Enterprise

IBM Announces Z Mainframe With Comprehensive End-to-End Data Encryption For Enterprise

The IBM Z mainframe also offers encrypted APIs with IBM z/OS Connect that is said to make it easy for cloud developers to discover and call any IBM Z application or data from a cloud service, or for IBM Z developers to call any cloud service.

The mainframe, called IBM Z or z14, introduces a new encryption engine that for the first time will allow users to encrypt all of their data with one click-in databases, applications or cloud services-with virtually no impact on performance.

The pervasive encryption technology may hold additional appeal for companies because of new data governance regulations due to hit next May in the European Union. "And we're really doing it for the first time at scale, which has not been done up to this point, because it's been incredibly challenging and expensive to do".

An analysis from Toni Sacconaghi Jr for Bernstein Research says IBM's hardware business is in secular decline, and, while mainframe hardware contributes just 3 per cent of Big Blue's revenues, the overall mainframe platform accounted for almost a quarter of total IBM revenues and an estimated 40 per cent of profits in 2016.

With the mainframe repositioning, IBM is looking to juice sales of its stalwart z system lineup.

Peter Rutten, an analyst with IDC says all-encompassing encryption is clearly the key to this release. "Data centers previously had to decide what they would encrypt".

GDPR will require organisations to report data breaches to the regulatory authority within 72 hours. "With this technology, the whole system in its entirety is".

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Over 150 IBM clients, CISOs, and data security experts are said to have contributed feedback for the design of the system over a three year period. "Where the platform embraced Linux and open source software, IBM Z now dramatically expands the protective cryptographic umbrella of the world's most advanced encryption technology and key protection".

For example, it also announced today the launch of IBM Cloud BlockChain data centers in six cities worldwide.

In contrast, the z14 can encrypt every file - or data set in IBM Z parlance - and restrict who can access the keys, said Mike Jordan, distinguished engineer with IBM z Systems Security: Privileged users such as storage administrators, for example, will be able to move or copy files to do their job, but won't be able to decrypt them. As a result, encryption performance is seven times faster than on IBM's previous-generation z13 mainframe and, according to IBM, 18 times faster than systems powered by Intel Corp.'s x86 chips.

"For quite a long time, people have looked at Intel as a convenient platform, but IBM would love to break that stranglehold and have people take a look at the mainframe", Hurwitz said.

The key management system meets Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS) Level 4 requirements, where the industry norm is only Level 2, IBM said.

The mainframe can support 12 billion encrypted transactions per day, two million Docker containers and 1,000 concurrent NoSQL databases, supported by three times the memory of its predecessor, the z13, and three times the I/O and transaction processing capabilities.

The z14 CPU has new instructions in the single instruction, multiple data (SIMD) facility that speeds traditional decimal operation workloads (i.e. COBOL 6.2, PL/I 5.2) and analytics (ie, Apache Spark for z/OS) beyond that provided by the faster processor. "No, I don't think a company would buy a mainframe just for the encryption".

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