IBM claims the z13 mainframe is the first system able to process 2.5 billion transactions a day (or the equivalent of 100 Cyber Mondays every day, according to the company). It can encrypt mobile transactions in real-time and provide on-the-fly insights on all transactions that pass through it. This will help companies and governments improve fraud detection, IBM says, and it give them a live view of a client’s purchasing habits so they can push related promotions to consumers right when they’re in-store.
The first mainframes were designed to serve Cold War clients. The mainframe of today serves a very different world—and economy.
“We’re driving toward a world where more and more people are using mobile devices, or embedded devices, to interact with systems,” John Birtles, director of IBM z Systems, tells WIRED. “We need to make sure that those devices are secure, that the transaction’s secure, and that our clients get the level of analytics that gives them opportunities to improve their businesses.”
The concept of a “mobile transaction” is a bit of marketing-speak. Tons of transactions take place via mobile devices, and the mainframe is good at transaction processing. Put them together, and voila: a computer the size of a backyard shed becomes a mobile product.