IBM S/390 Integrated Server
IBM put OS/2 Warp to use in many, many amazing places. One of the most
interesting, in my opinion, is the IBM S/390 Integrated Server. This
packaged system consists of the following:
- Pentium II running at 333 MHz with 512K Cache
- 128 MB of ECC Memory (for the Pentium II)
- Industrial-quality components and chasis
- 16 PCI slots (12 secondary and 4 terciary)
- 3 ISA slots
- 18 GB SSA (Serial Storage Architecture) hard disks (up to 16 hot swap)
- RAID 5 with background scrubbing
- N+1 power (including redundant power supply, fans, and built-in standby battery power)
- 1 P/390E System/390 CPU with 256 MB of its own memory (nonexpandable)
- 2 ESCON channels
- 4 Parallel channels
- 10/100 Ethernet
- AGP Video (with 2 MB video memory)
- Adaptec Ultra Wide SCSI adapter
- 20X CD-ROM
- 4 mm DAT drive (DDS-3)
- USB, serial, parallel ports
- OS/2 Warp Server Version 4
Yes, fellow bargain hunters, the S/390 Integrated Server is a real IBM
mainframe. The P/390E CPU is rated at about 7 MIPS and supports the
390/ESA (31-bit) mainframe instruction set. This server actually runs two
operating systems: one running on the P/390E processor (i.e. your
mainframe operating system) and the other OS/2 Warp Server. OS/2 Warp
Server takes care of input/output for the P/390E processor. (And you can
also run anything else -- Klondike Solitaire, Firefox for OS/2, whatever.)
The S/390 Integrated Server is a real, honest-to-goodness mainframe
processor. It can run 31-bit z/OS (up to Version 1.5, I believe), TPF,
VSE, VM, and Linux S/390.
So why do I mention this server? Well, IBM has this bad boy on sale in its
"Certified Used" online store. You can own one of these rare (and formerly
very pricey -- we're talking six figures) systems for the low low price of
just $6,000 U.S. including shipping. That's right: you can buy a real IBM
mainframe for 6Gs!
the web site where you can find this system, model 3006-B01.
including 36 GB of disk space (usable after RAID-5).
I should say this up front: with the exception of Linux, which is freely
available (Debian, for example), mainframe operating systems and other
software products are almost always licensed. Some of them may cost a
considerable amount of money, depending on what you want to do. And some
of them are essentially rented month to month. So your software expenses
could be considerable.
Also, 31-bit technology is falling out of favor in the mainframe world.
(IBM introduced 64-bit zSeries systems in 2000, and more and more software
is taking advantage of 64-bit, such as z/OS 1.6 and DB2 V8 for z/OS.)
Please note that this system is 31-bit.
Still, all that said, wow, what a bargain! If you'd like to own a real
mainframe you just can't beat this price. Believe it or not, you can even
run WebSphere Application Server V6.01 for z/OS on this system -- slowly,
perhaps, but it'll run! This system would be perfect for code developers,
mainframe enthusiasts, and other individuals who'd like to point to the
fact that they own (and use) a real mainframe. Just be sure you know what
you're getting into -- especially in terms of software costs, and
especially if you want to run more than S/390 Linux -- before purchasing
Note that this system does not require special power, raised floor,
cooling system, etc. If you have those things, great, but they're not
required for this itty bitty mainframe.
And it runs OS/2 Warp Server as the "partner" operating system! How cool
Now, what if 36 GB is not enough disk storage? Well, you could add up to
13 more 18 GB SSA hard disks. If you can find them, that is. But you may
have another option, available via the same Web site listed above. How'd
you like to own your very own IBM Enterprise Storage System (a.k.a.
"Shark")? Well, those are on sale, too. If you get an ESCON-attached
system (which would be compatible with this system), you can buy a used 1
TB Shark for $42,000. That's not a lot of money for 1 TB of mainframe
storage. (Click on "Storage" from the Certified Used store to see the
Sharks for sale.) There's some other possible ESCON-attachable storage
options also listed. And some tape drives, too, if you need those.
OK, I'll stop there. Granted, $6,000 is a lot of money if all you want is
an OS/2 Warp- or eComStation-based PC. (It's especially a lot of money for
a Pentium II 333 MHz.) But it's very inexpensive indeed for a 31-bit
mainframe processor as recent as the P/390E. (Could you imagine opening up
your own little data center? And even attach it to the Internet? Yes, you
could.) Some of you may be enthusiastic about owning this unique system,
others may not care. Either way, I hope you enjoyed this edition of Tim's
Warped Bargains. Until next time.....
Information is sent by: Timothy Sipples -- 2005-04-27 09:48:18