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IBM and Unisys Corp. are extending their respective mainframe systems with enhancements that will answer enterprises’ growing workload demands.

IBM, which next week celebrates the 40th anniversary of its first mainframe, will enhance its zSeries systems by extending the range of its Parallel Sysplex cluster technology and adding specialized engines, said Erich Clementi, zSeries general manager.

By the end of the year, the Armonk, N.Y., company will roll out new versions of its z800 and z990 systems, Clementi said. Among the enhancements on IBM’s road map that could be ready for those systems is the extended Parallel Sysplex capability, a data-sharing technology that enables multiple systems in different locations to share the same systems image. IBM will push the maximum separation from 40 kilometers to 100 kilometers, an important move for enterprises that don’t want to keep all these mission-critical processes in a single location in case of a disaster.

Clementi said IBM will offer specialized engines for the mainframes similar to the Linux engine the company introduced last year. The new engines could focus on Java and XML-based workloads, but Clementi declined to say when these enhancements would appear.

Unisys, of Blue Bell, Pa., this week will roll out the 500 line of ClearPath Plus Libra mainframes.

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