IBM Develops $2.5bn Super Computer For Kenya

IBM Develops $2.5bn Super Computer For Kenya
z13 super computer

AFRICANGLOBE – Kenya’s eCommerce ecosystem is set to see greater efficiencies as IBM has launched what it has dubbed the ‘most powerful and secure system ever built.’ The z13 mainframe is an impressive demonstration of human ingenuity, technological advancement, and the monumental cost in terms of time and money – five years and a whopping $2.5 billion.

Constructed with the burgeoning Kenyan mobile economy in mind, this super computer is the first system able to process 2.5 billion transactions per day. To say that this is extraordinary is an understatement considering that Kenya’s total transactions in the whole of 2014 amounted to 825 million raking in Sh2 trillion ($21.9 billion), a mere 33 percent of what the new super computer can do in a day.

“In addition to real-time encryption, the mainframe delivers analytics to help meet the expectations of consumers for speed and safety for trillions of transactions in the mobile economy,” said IBM in a statement at the launch of the system, the development of which involved 60 clients and included 500 patents including cryptographic encryption technologies.

Customers have become notoriously demanding as they see more and more of the potentials embedded in recent technological advancements. The expectation now is that mobile applications be super-fast and seamless, and this is without regard or appreciation to the back end processes that drive their requests. It is trends like these that justify the investments and efforts that go into producing technological wonders like the z13. Experts believe mobile transactions will continue to leapfrog, possibly hitting the 40 trillion transactions per day mark by 2025.

“Every time a consumer makes a purchase or hits refresh on a smart phone, it can create a cascade of events on the back end of the computing environment. The z13 is designed to handle billions of transactions for the mobile economy. Only the IBM mainframe can put the power of the world’s most secure datacenters in the palm of your hand,” said Tom Rosamilia, senior vice president, IBM Systems.

According to IBM, the z13 features the world’s fastest microprocessor which is 2 times faster than the most common server processors and contains 300 percent more memory storage. As a result, the z13 transaction engine is able to analyze transactions in real time and prevent fraud as it is occurring, thus alerting and allowing financial institutions to halt the transaction before the deed is done.

The z13 leverages the cloud architecture which has become something of a legend because of its ability to scale and reliably handle multiple workloads in a secure fashion. In a scale-out model, it is capable of running up to 8,000 virtual servers – more than 50 virtual servers per core, helping to lower software, energy and facilities costs.

Such super computers will soon be in high demand as the rest of Africa is sure to pick up on the digital race.


By: Emmanuel Iruobe