IBM System z Wins in Emerging Markets

The System z is doing very well in emerging markets these days. In Senegal, the Customs Directorate of the Ministry of Finance  purchased a pair of z10 machines configured as a high availability sysplex along with comparable DS8000 storage.

At the end of 2010, HeiTech,  a leading IT and communications provider in Malaysia, opted for a z196 to run a wide mix of workloads. Don’t be surprised if, down the road, the company ends up with a zBX too.

It still surprises some people that the mainframe is doing well in emerging markets. Their assumption is that these are places where cheap commodity servers and kluged systems running lightweight applications would be the rule. DancingDinosaur, however, has been in touch with people at both these organizations and each has a long history of running serious workloads on true enterprise systems.

In Senegal, for example, the first application will run the customs operation at the airport, its main port, and at 30 border crossings around the country. HeiTech expects to run workloads for customers across a range of industries including banking, finance, and public sector and intends to take full advantage of the ability of the z196 to manage across different operating systems and platforms.

The Ministry of Finance in Senegal was looking to upgrade and modernize its systems built around a pair of System z890 machines. After looking at competing enterprise UNIX systems it opted for the better price/performance of the z10 sysplex.

In Malaysia, it was the sheer power and versatility of the zEnterprise that won the deal. The company initially was considering a z10 but the power and capabilities of the z196 won out. In particular, the Unified Resource Manager should provide a significant benefit when managing HeiTech’s diverse workloads and infrastructure consisting on z/OS, Linux on z, Linux on System x, and AIX on Power. This sounds made to order for a z196. It also isn’t surprising that a zBX will be a consideration moving forward.

Back in Senegal the new z will enable customs officers across the country, not just at the airport and the main port of Dakar as is the case now, to better manage the customs processes, such as levying import and export duty and checking to see if the correct duty has been paid on shipments of goods coming into the country.

In Malaysia, the new z196 will be used to manage very large databases for HeiTech’s existing public sector customers.  HeiTech further intends to expand its services to other Asian countries, especially customers in Indonesia, Thailand and Singapore.

In Senegal the performance and energy specs of the z10 proved particularly appealing. The z10 will enable the Ministry to increase system performance by 70%, reduce power consumption by 20%, and cut operating costs by 30%. And as a high availability sysplex it brings advanced recovery capabilities that will allow the Ministry to safeguard and recover critical information and minimize downtime in the event of a systems failure.

Specifically, Senegal’s system relies on two z10 mainframes running z/OS and linked in a high availability sysplex situated in a data center in Dakar. Software will include IBM WebSphere, DB2, and Tivoli System Automation. For high available storage the Ministry will use a pair of IBM DS8000 Storage Servers with permanent replication. The entire system is expected to be up and running by the end of February.

Emerging markets aren’t exactly emerging anymore; they have been involved in serious IT for several decades at least. IBM has taken to referring to them as growth markets instead. And they sure are growing in terms of IT. DancingDinosaur, which has already reported on mainframe adoption in Russia and Korea, expects to report in more detail on the HeiTech experience with the zEnterprise in the coming months.


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5 Responses to “IBM System z Wins in Emerging Markets”

  1. daveyc Says:

    It’s probably true that all new z customers are in emerging markets. Start blowing trumpets when z starts selling in established markets.

    • Thomas P Smith Says:

      It sounds for your statement that somehow the folks in emerging markets are naive and ended up buying the z by mistake. I am in one of those countries and my company just bought one too! We replaced 23 Unix servers with 1 System z, and now run many different applications including ERP, database, home grown apps. in Java & C++ apps, Websites, Linux apps. all one hardware system and managed from a single console! We have 2 people (1 per shift) in the company who mange the whole system, earlier we needed 11, 5 or 6 per shift. Our data center now is 5mX5m room that was 30mx25m. Power consumption is 1/3rd of what used to be.

      It was great decision and you with your ‘old’ mind set of conventional thinking are missing out! Take another look at system will be educational, I am sure!

      • dancingdinosaur Says:

        Thomas–you have what sounds like a great mainframe story to tell. Please contact me; I’d like to talk with you a big more. Alan,, 617-332-4369

      • daveyc Says:

        Not another “we consolidated all of our squatty boxes onto a Z” story! You could have done that by moving to a Power 7 tower platform. I don’t think it would have taken any more man power to administer or floor space either. I’m still struggling to come up with a good reason why a non-z/OS site would choose a Z over enterprise *nix systems. Maybe Alan should reveal more information on the price/peformance metrics because you won’t find those on IBM certainly don’t want to compare an expensive platform to one that’s almost as good but cheaper.

  2. Alan Radding Says:

    For 2010 IBM reported 61 wins at organizations not previously mainframe users, what it refers to a first-in-enterprise wins. Of those, 40% came from emerging markets, which IBM refers to as growth markets, and 60% came from established major markets.

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