zIIP and Other Specialty Engines

Specialty engines are processors that can help users expand the use of the mainframe for new workloads, while helping to lower cost of ownership. The IBM* System z* specialty engines can run independently or complement each other. Specialty engines aim to reduce the TCO of a System z implementation in part by avoiding increased software licensing costs while also increasing the computing power of the System z platform.

IBM has been delivering specialty engines on IBM mainframes for more than 10 years. The first specialty engine for the mainframe was the Internal Coupling Facility (ICF). Afterward, more specialty engines, such as Integrated Facility for Linux* (IFL), System z Application Assist Processors (zAAPs) and System z9 Integrated Information Processors (zIIPs) were developed, including:

System Assist Processor (SAP) - SAP is standard on System z servers and is a dedicated I/O processor to help reduce the overhead of I/O processing of every System z LPAR regardless of the OS.

ICF - ICF is a major component of a Parallel Sysplex*. The coupling facility allows multiple z/OS* LPARs to share, cache, update and balance data access.

IFL - IFL allows you to purchase additional processing capacity for Linux workloads, without increasing IBM software charges for the existing System z environment.

zAAP - zAAP is a specialized processing engine that provides a strategic z/OS Java* execution environment.

zIIP - zIIP provides an execution environment that accepts eligible work from z/OS. Also, the z/OS Workload Manager (WLM) manages and directs the work between the general-purpose processor and zIIP specialty engines. DB2* for z/OS V8 (or higher) exploits the zIIP capability for portions of eligible workloads.

- A.K. and O.J.

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