IBM is trying to boost flagging sales of its System z mainframe with a new set of hardware, software and services combinations for specific application workloads.

The seven bundles announced target data warehousing, application development, disaster recovery, SOA, security, electronic payments and SAP applications. The last one is an update of a package IBM first announced 18 months ago.

System z sales have plummeted during the economic recession, as companies rein in capital spending and increasingly turn to cheaper commodity hardware to support their IT systems. Year-on-year revenue for high-end servers fell 39 percent in IBM's most recent quarter.

IBM has been attempting to turn the tide by consistently touting the mainframe's superior reliability and power. The new Solution Editions are meant to portray it as an ideal platform for many different computing scenarios.

For example, the SAP edition allows customers to maintain their application data in one database instance instead of chopping it up and spreading it across multiple machines, according to IBM's website.

Pricing for the bundles will vary according to customer requirements, but will be competitive and represent savings over buying the components separately, according to an IBM spokeswoman.