IBM wants you to encrypt everything with its new mainframe

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

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

Encryption is now too complex and expensive to manage for regulatory compliance, despite the fact that extensive use of encryption is a top factor in reducing the business impact and cost of a data breach, according to a recent IBM study.

According to IBM, the new system is capable of encrypting data 18 times faster than x86 platforms, at 5% of the cost.

IBM Z encryption can be used to advance cryptography technology, since it makes it possible for organizations to encrypt all data associated with applications, cloud services or databases with one click, said IBM.

Apparently IBM Z offers a fourfold increase in the silicon dedicated to cryptographic algorithms, and has had its software stack fully reworked, so that it's now capable of running more than 12 billion encrypted transactions on a daily basis.

This IBM Z capability can be extended beyond the mainframe to other devices, such as storage systems and servers in the cloud.

IBM said its new data encryption capabilities are created to address the global epidemic of data breaches, faster, and at a cheaper cost, with container pricing and other payment possibilities.

"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", according to Ross Mauri, general manager at IBM Z, .

While much of the IT infrastructure conversation today revolves around cloud, mainframes are still a $3 to $4 billion business for IBM, according to the market research firm IDC. The company has set up IBM Cloud Blockchain data centres in Dallas, London, Frankfurt, Sao Paolo, Tokyo and Toronto, which are secured using the capital Z mainframe as the encryption engine.

The mainframe will be used initially as an encryption engine for IBM's cloud computing technology and blockchain (distributed ledger technology) services.

The timing is handy given the surge in data breaches and regulations such as the EU's General Data Protection Regulation. "It's like a security blanket across the entire system - database, applications, data at rest, data in flight, APIs, etc. - that can just be turned on, rather than manually picking and choosing what to encrypt, which typically has led to much [data] remaining unencrypted", he explained. They will face fines of up to 4pc of annual worldwide revenues, or €20m, unless the organisation can demonstrate that data was encrypted and the keys were protected. "Enterprise clients also benefit from the ease of use making management transparent to the application and the user".

Payment systems pricing based on the business metric of payments volume a bank processes, not the available capacity.

The mainframe, called IBM Z, seeks to address cyberattacks which have compromised financial data.

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.

Big Blue burbles it can run the world's largest MongoDB instance with 2.5x faster NodeJS performance compared to paltry x86-based platforms.

Three times faster I/O and accelerated transaction processing compared to the z13 to drive growth in data, transaction throughput and lower response time. It supports 2,000,000 Docker containers and 1,000 concurrent NoSQL databases.

There are some applications that can profit from having one of IBM's mysterious black monoliths in the data center today.