The mainframe, the aged yet surprisingly resilient survivor of computing, is getting a face-lift. A model called the I.B.M. z10, which is being introduced Tuesday, is far faster and has three times the data-juggling memory of its three-year-old predecessor, the z9.
But the significance of the new machine, analysts say, is that it is a big step in a broad campaign by I.B.M. to make the mainframe computer a high-performance, energy-efficient engine for running all kinds of nonmainframe software.
The goal, according to I.B.M. executives and analysts, is to recast the mainframe as a nimble supercomputer in corporate and government data centers, running Web-based programs, Linux, advanced data mining and business intelligence software.