As part of its ongoing effort to "reinvent" its venerable mainframe line, IBM dropped the other shoe on Monday, delivering its new age 64-bit mainframe operating system called zOS.zOS fully exploits the z900 series of mainframes -- which was the first shoe to drop last December -- including support for the Intelligent Resource Director (IRD). With IRD, a z900 can automatically manage the amount of processing power devoted to applications across the entire system, which IBM officials claim is an industry first.
"IRD gives users the ability to bring instant capacity to workloads defined as a high priority within a server complex," said Pete McCaffrey, director of IBM's zSeries Servers unit.
The operating system also has new security capabilities. For the first time, users can now define and build their own cryptography functions. It is also "Entrust Ready" so it works with digital certificate software. This allows corporate customers to keep critical digital certificates on a zOS LDAP-based server so electronic transactions can be processed end to end.
Since the z900 systems shipped in December, users have been able to use IBM's OS/390 operating system, but were unable to take advantage of several new capabilities, including IRD.