IBM Australia/New Zealand has rebranded its entire server line, including its money-spinning S/390 mainframe, in a bid to cash in on e-commerce. The Unix-based RS/6000 line and AS/400 minicomputer lines are also part of the effort, announced in Sydney last week, under the eServer banner. IBM Australia/New Zealand's head of enterprise systems, Karen Steidle, says the rebranding and some 16 impending new models across four lines are components of a push into "serious" e-business. The line of enterprise machines breaks up into four categories: the high-end zSeries, the Unix-based pSeries, the mid-market iSeries, and the lower-end Intel-based xSeries. IBM says the eServers will support open-source code as well as Java, XML (extensible markup language), HTTP (hypertext transfer protocol), and HTML (hypertext markup language). The company's head of enterprise systems, Dan Bennewitz, also revealed the launch of a new 64-bit operating system called zOS, to work with its line of z series mainframes that contain features to take advantage of the new servers' capabilities. Bennewitz says the "heavy duty e-business" series can handle up to 9 billion transactions a day. "We think this is the most powerful e-business server in the market," he says. The system is "self-healing," which means "zero downtime" and 24 x 7 global access. Pricing will depend on customer, so they can "pay as they grow", he says. The z series also uses a new technology called "papersockets" to help the use of Linux. IBM's support for Linux was affirmed with the announcement of the opening of 10 porting centres around the world, including one in Sydney, to help users carry over existing applications using other operating environments to work on Linux and other open source operating systems. IBM's software group manager in Australia and New Zealand, Steve McWhirter, says Linux is an ideal platforms for creating an e-business.
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