IBM System/390 Division
IBM's newly-named System/390* Division marked a number of milestones in 1994 -- highlights included the introduction of new parallel processors that are changing the face of large-scale computing, plus a year of record-breaking shipments to customers. Long the provider of mainframes for mission-critical business applications, in 1994 IBM shipped a record amount of mainframe capacity as measured in MIPS (millions of instructions per second).
While ES/9000 mainframes, built of traditional bipolar technology, accounted for the majority of those MIPs, customers responded enthusiastically to the new parallel servers, which are built of lower-cost CMOS technology.
Processors an Instant Hit
The S/390* Parallel Enterprise Server, which was unveiled and began shipping in September, has been an instant hit. Small, sleek and built with cutting-edge microprocessor technology, it symbolizes the dramatic transformation the mainframe division is undergoing. It was conceived and delivered in less than 18 months. Its acceptance has been rapid, exceeding IBM's expectations. And customers report that the versatile system -- whether operating in stand-alone mode or tied in a network-centric environment -- regularly outperforms even the best estimates made during its development.
Operating Systems Open to the Future
System/390 software also got a new look in 1994, with additional advancements planned this year. Recent and future advances are aimed at fortifying S/390's leadership position as a server with unmatched capabilities for enterprise-wide distributed computing.
For example, a new release of OpenEdition MVS, IBM's flagship mainframe operating system, provides DCE* (Distributed Computing Environment*) and POSIX* interfaces, both of which are essential for distributed, open computing. By next year, MVS will have received XPG4 branding from X Open, an international standards body. XPG4 branding certifies that an operating system meets UNIX** standards. IBM also announced OpenEdition VM in 1994, which brings DCE and POSIX function to the popular VM operating system.
Application Development Simplified
IBM is also making it simpler to develop new S/390 applications. Last week, for example, customers began beta testing SOMobjects for MVS, an object oriented technology that allows customers and software developers to build new applications with unprecedented speed and ease.
In addition, a host of new development tools are also available. They range from adding a graphical user interface to an existing mainframe application with VisualLift to offering a choice of programming languages like Object Oriented COBOL and C++, to rapid application development tools, like CASE and the full use of objects and class libraries.
The mainframe business is also transforming itself by reaching out to business partners, remarketers and software developers. For example, the S/390 Developers' Associations is open to remarketers, application specialists and software vendors.
Remarketers enjoy very competitive discounts on the S/390 Parallel Enterprise Server. Discounts of 50 percent are available on hardware and software for software vendors interested in developing new S/390 applications. In the future, the S/390 Division hopes to loan or lease systems to developers. Educational support is also currently provided through on-line forums and through S/390 development labs.
Named for the large-system architecture that is a cornerstone of commercial processing, IBM's S/390 Division is responsible for the development and manufacturing of S/390 processors and for their associated operating systems. Products include the ES/9000 family of mainframes, S/390 parallel servers and the MVS/ESA*, VM/ESA*, VSE/ESA*, and TPF operating systems.
*Indicates trademark or registered trademark of International Business Machines Corporation.