One Click and VoilĂ , Your Entire Data Center is Encrypted

IBM Z mainframe ushers in a new era of data protection with pervasive encryption

IBM has trumpeted what it's calling a huge breakthrough in data encryption and the battle against cybercriminals, with a next-gen mainframe computer driven by a powerful CPU which is capable of encrypting all of a company's data, all the time.

The company says that it's found a way to encrypt every level of a network, applications, databases, cloud services and so on. IBM has therefore also announced that six IBM Cloud Blockchain data centres will beusing IBM Z as their encryption engine, namely those in Dallas, London, Frankfurt, Sao Paolo, Tokyo and Toronto.

Not every business has a security strategy, and it's highly likely that not every business has encrypted its data, but IBM thinks it can solve this problem with its Z mainframe.

They include four times more silicon dedicated to cryptographic algorithms over the previous z13 mainframe. The company on Monday unveiled IBM Z, a next generation mainframe that is is billing as the world's most powerful transaction system.

IBM has introduced the 14th generation of its Z series mainframes, which still sell respectably despite repeated predictions of their demise.

"The vast majority of stolen or leaked data today is in the open and easy to use because encryption has been very hard and expensive to do at scale", said Ross Mauri, general manager at IBM Z.

The two biggest threats to IBM's continued mainframe revenue stream are X86 servers and the public cloud, hence IBM's Z release being littered with "better than X86" statements and claims.

Data is encrypted at rest and in flight wherever it resides.

The new platform can also "self-destruct" encryption keys the moment there's any tampering, and quickly encrypts the programming interfaces that tie apps and services together.

The IBM Z key management system is created to meet Federal Information Processing Standards Level 4, where the norm for high security in the industry is Level 2.

Beyond pure encryption, customers also told IBM they wanted this capability delivered in a cost-effective way. Mauri said IBM so far has preached and collaborated with the base, but the company brings on anywhere from 5 to 15 new Z customers a quarter.

The other driving factor is the increase in regulations by governments around the world aimed at protecting information, including the European Union's (EU) General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which goes into effect next year. Only IBM Z can protect millions of keys (as well as the process of accessing, generating and recycling them) in "tamper responding" hardware that causes keys to be invalidated at any sign of intrusion and can then be reconstituted in safety.

1 000 concurrent NoSQL databases.

IBM mainfraes already support 87% of all credit card transactions and almost $8-trillion payments a year, 29-billion ATM transactions each year, worth almost $5-billion per day, 4-billion passenger flights each year; more than 30-billion transactions per day - more than the number of Google searches every day; and 68% of the world's production workloads at only 6% of the total IT cost.

An analysis from Toni Sacconaghi Jr for Bernstein Research says IBM's hardware business is in secular decline, and, while mainframe hardware contributes just 3 per cent of Big Blue's revenues, the overall mainframe platform accounted for almost a quarter of total IBM revenues and an estimated 40 per cent of profits in 2016.

Container pricing for IBM Z is planned to be available by year-end 2017 and enabled in z/OS V2.2 and z/OS V2.3.