IBM Positions NUMA-Q Servers for Mainframe Apps

IBM Corp. is offering enterprise users running its S/390-based applications a new option - the ability to run those applications on IBM's NUMA-Q 2000 servers.

Observers say IBM's announcement is worth a second look for those with S/390-based applications. NUMA-Q 2000 servers, first introduced in 1996, are based on Intel processors and support UNIX, Linux and Microsoft Corp.'s Windows 2000 applications running in a single server. For companies that have made significant investments in mainframe applications, but may not want to purchase new mainframe hardware or upgrade their existing infrastructure, NUMA-Q could be a cost-effective option.

John Dunkle, an analyst with Workgroup Strategic Services Inc., says users won't necessarily reduce the cost of their transactions by using NUMA-Q, since mainframes provide low cost-per-transaction rates. But users can reduce new hardware costs by going with NUMA-Q, he says. A typical mainframe configuration can cost between US$1 million and $2 million. Dunkle also noted that consolidating hardware platforms, and thereby simplifying management tasks could reduce total cost of ownership.

Users who want to run S/390 applications on NUMA-Q 2000 servers will use NUMA-Q Enabled For S/390 (EFS). This software-based computing platform allows IBM's S/390 server operating systems - including OS/390, VM/ESA and VSE/ESA - to run without modification.

To run S/390-based applications, NUMA-Q uses a UNIX application that emulates the S/390 processor architecture. The software simulates S/390 machine instructions so applications running on NUMA-Q servers can communicate with traditional S/390 hardware devices, such as IBM S/390 DASD volumes (CKD and FBA), IBM tape (3490, 3480, 3420), card reader and punch, printers, 3172 LAN channel station, and more.

IBM's NUMA-Q 2000 supports up to 16 quads - or 64 processors - interconnected to create a single system. IBM says NUMA-Q-based clusters can eliminate single points of subsystem failure, typically allowing for 99.995 percent or better system availability.

Network managers also can use NUMA-Q to simplify system administration and management tasks associated with server farms. Using NUMA-Q, they can run and manage S/390 applications, as well as their Linux, UNIX and Windows 2000 applications concurrently. NUMA-Q servers have a single console for configuring and monitoring system hardware, conducting online and offline diagnostics, and adjusting system configuration. IBM's Application Region Manage software running on NUMA-Q also allows network managers to allocate portions of the processor, memory and kernel resources and dedicate them to a specific application

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

More about ESAIBM AustraliaIntelMicrosoftVSEWorkgroup Strategic Services

Show Comments