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IBM Offers Windows on Mainframes For The First Time

zEnterprise system will be able to connect to Windows applications in a hybrid computing environment that combine z196 and z114 servers that are combined with x86-based IBM x servers. IBM said that the "new heterogeneous virtual IT infrastructure" will become available on December 16.

With an approach that enables front-end Windows applications to integrate with applications and data on a mainframe system, IBM says that the technology addresses the problem of "the jumble of disparate technologies added over time to run specific applications." The combination of the mainframe with an x86 server can consolidate app environments, staff and software tools. As a result, the IT environment will be less complex, will require less management and reduces cost, IBM claims. The company said that the cost savings can amount to "up to 70 percent" over traditional distributed platforms.

The addition of x86 now enables IBM's mainframe system to support z/OS, Linux, IBM AIX, x86 Linux and Microsoft Windows.