Alternatives to the IBM z14

Alternatives to the IBM z14

Editorial Staff Mainframe news

Alternatives to the IBM z14

The newest mainframe from IBM boasts powerful specs, but so does its’ predecessor.

The z14, IBM’s newest large system mainframe, is a work of technological art that makes blockchains seem en vogue.   However, a shiny new flagship isn’t always viable for organizations looking to add a mainframe or replace a mainframe.  Additionally, IBM itself promotes similar features that are shared with the z14 mainframe, including pervasive encryption and secure cloud scalability.  So let’s take a real world look at the pros, cons, and alternatives to IBM’s newest flagship mainframe.


  • All the latest bells and whistles.
  • Enhanced Encryption
  • Faster processors
  • Faster I/O
  • The z14 zR1 boasts a smaller footprint and optional rack space for integrated DASD

Important factors to consider

  • Price.
  • Does your existing and planned development require all the features of the newest machine?
  • Can you take advantage of it immediately?
  • IBM typically drops hardware support after several years.
  • Use of a non-OEM maintenance provider.  Lowering maintenance costs may allow redirection of funds to other projects.


As much as we all want the newest Tesla as our company car, its probably not aligned with our organization’s financial interest.  For now.

Similarly, the same concept applies to mainframes.  It’s better to be a hero in the budget meeting rather than showing up to work in the Batmobile.

Below are several existing mainframe systems that share similar benefits to the z14.  They will likely make you that budget hero and save your company enough money to buy the CEO his/her very own Batmobile.

  1. IBM z12 EC
  2. IBM z12 BC
  3. IBM z196
  4. IBM z114
  5. Coming soon:  z13 and z13s
  6. Maintenance support is also available for z800, z900, z890, z990, z10.

If you are replacing an exisiting mainframe system, we highly recommend looking into a consignment program, which will likely save your organization time, money, and space for that shiny new or refurbished mainframe.  Or search for a refurbished or used mainframe.  Used mainframes can be custom configured and are refurbished to meet MSQ certification.  Read more about the z14 launch on IBM’s facebook feed.


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