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Definition: IBM Z


IBM's family of 64-bit mainframes, introduced in 2000 as the zSeries. IBM mainframes are robust, mission critical computer systems that run under IBM's z/OS or z/VM operating systems, as well as Linux.

The 21st Century Mainframe
In 2000, IBM's z/Architecture was a major upgrade to the previous ESA/390 mainframes, and the "Z" designation was chosen to reflect zero downtime as models include duplicate parts that take over if the first one fails.

The first Z mainframe was the high-end 900 line, followed in 2002 by the zSeries 800, geared to the mid-size customer. Following is a list of "Z" models over the years. The enterprise class designation refers to high-end machines. See z/OS, zEnterprise, z/Architecture, IBM branding and System/390.

  Year    Mainframe
  Intro.  Model             Class

  2018    System z14 3907   Enterprise
  2017    System z14 3906   Enterprise

  2016    System z13 2965   Enterprise
  2015    System z13 2964   Enterprise

  2013    zEnterprise BC12  Business
  2012    zEnterprise EC12  Enterprise
  2011    zEnterprise 114   Enterprise
  2010    zEnterprise 196   Enterprise

  2008    System z10 EC     Enterprise
  2008    System z10 BC     Business

  2006    System z9 BC      Business
  2005    System z9 EC      Enterprise

  2004    zSeries 890       Business
  2003    zSeries 990       Enterprise

  2002    zSeries 800       Business
  2000    zSeries 900       Enterprise