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IBM System z9 bc

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Mar 23, 2006
US West Coast
So, an IBM System z9 bc has shown up on public surplus. If I was to get it, I would want to use it for something like Rosetta (which I do now). Does anyone know about this sort of mainframe and if that's a realistic goal?

I'm asking here because I really know very little about this sort of mainframe. My experience with computers is for the home PC.

Certainly opinions are likely to show up, but I'm hoping someone with experience can respond.

Here's the wikipedia article on the z9: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IBM_System_z9


Jul 8, 2013
I assume its this one? http://www.publicsurplus.com/sms/auction/view?auc=1536947

its not a terrible price for something that once sold for over $100k
but it is 10 years old now which is ancient when we are talking about computing, calculation performance

I really don't know anything either about mainframes but it might be just barebones, so it is working but just the bare minimum (1 cpu, low amount of ram, and low storage)


Apr 26, 2012
New York, USA
Looks to me from the description from the link that Joe posted, that it's a single, single core CPU with 8GB of "LICCC Enabled" memory (not a convention I'm familiar with). Past that, I'm not sure.

This seems to me to be pretty specialized hardware. I don't claim to be even remotely familiar with hardware nor part descriptions like this. However, if I'm interpreting everything correctly, a current build would run in the area of $800 (assuming server-class parts). So, given the 10 year old hardware that *appears to me* to be much less powerful than hardware today's parts at a similar price point, I don't feel it's a good buy.

Having said that, I don't know much about that specific system, so I don't know for sure if it's a good buy or not.


Gulper Nozzle Co-Owner
Dec 15, 2008
I don't think it's realistic. The level of effort and knowledge you need to set that up (I'd imagine you need to run zLinux) is not something done by the average person. You would need a seasoned systems programmer to do so. Not to mention the power requirements are not something found in someone's house. They are huge 3 phase 60a leads.

For the record, I've been in Mainframe Operations for over 15 years. ;)

Sorry for the horribly late response but ram across this searching your threads. :)