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z15 Reflects That IBM Is Working Even Closer With Customers

As IBM is working even closer with clients, new functions are being released often with a powerful amalgamation of hardware and software working in deep collaboration.

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Last week, I began this series on the development and rapid change in systems, networks and applications. With each release of an IBM Z server comes improvements in speed, reliability and security. In addition, as IBM is working even closer with clients, new functions are being released often with a powerful amalgamation of hardware and software working in deep collaboration. These improvements aren’t easy to achieve, but we have come to expect them with each release. Other transformations are occurring with mainframe software, including the OS and middleware that supports mission-critical applications. It all starts with the OSes it runs.

OSes That Support Business-Critical Applications

There are five mainframe OSes: IBM Z runs z/OS, Linux on Z, z/VM, z/VSE and z/TPF. What’s happening with these OSes?
1.  z/OS has a focus on hybrid cloud enablement, cloud provisioning and management for z/OS, IBM z/OS cloud storage, IBM z/OS container extensions and Tailored Fit Pricing. It has remarkable application development capabilities, including Java for z/OS and the language environment with a run-time environment for C, C++, COBOL, PL/I Fortran and assembler applications and other capabilities like Metal C, Node.js and z/OS XML. Of course, z/OS supports applications built on CICS, IMS and Db2, incorporating dozens of other middleware software tools and products, including open source.
2. Linux on Z is an enterprise Linux platform. It’s used for workloads on client premises and in hybrid multicloud situations. Open-source Linux distributions make sense on IBM Z. They benefit from the mainframe’s resilience, security, efficiency and performance, and with virtualization, a single system can run thousands of virtual Linux servers concurrently. This makes the mainframe a natural place for the consolidation of workloads.
3. z/VM plays an important role as it’s a leading hypervisor for the mainframe that can run thousands of Linux on Z virtual machines on one system and can also run z/OS, z/VSE and z/TPF OSes and their workloads. It’s a long serving and continuously developing software product that works closely with the IBM Z hardware.
4. z/VSE is an easy-to-manage and widely-used IBM mainframe OS for dependable and secure online transactions as well as batch workloads. It can be integrated into a hybrid IT environment with z/VSE Connectors and enhanced with new workloads like a Linux on Z environment. There are valuable use cases that give you a good idea about what’s possible with interoperability and operations of z/VSE systems, networks and applications.
5. z/TPF is a special-purpose mainframe OS used to process high transaction volumes, such as credit card transactions and airline reservations  

IBM Z and Linux

It’s difficult to separate the old and the new as IBM Z has integrated them so robustly. Also, our minds can play tricks on us. Some might think of Linux on Z as new, but actually, the initial efforts with Linux date to 1998. The integration facility for Linux engines were announced in 2000. By 2006, IBM had more than 1,700 mainframe clients running Linux.
Today, some 20 years after the start of Linux on mainframes, what are the advantages of the IBM z15 for running Linux? The z15 is focused on delivering a system designed for secure digital transformation that helps to keep services and operations running smoothly and continuously no matter where they reside. The z15 extends pervasive encryption beyond the border of the IBM Z environment with a goal of protecting data beyond the platform and into distributed and hybrid cloud environments. Simply put, Linux workloads will support and benefit from the strengths of the z15.

Workload Management Products

You can run just one OS on a mainframe in a few different LPARs to match workload or testing requirements. Or you can do what many mainframe clients have been doing for some time: run different OSes in LPARs and virtual machines in combination. They have existing workloads to run while they develop or incorporate new ones developed in different paradigms with different tools and intended uses. This is IT today—many projects and technologies that need robust environments to support them.
Not surprisingly, IBM has developed software to manage this inter OS multiplicity and extra system interaction. Here are six examples to give you an idea of the diversity of needs that are addressed by the software.
1. IBM Workload Manager for z/OS is used to define performance goals for workloads in business terms. It monitors the system and adapts how much resource should be given.
2. IBM z/OS Management Facility is used to manage a z/OS systems through a browser at any time or location and reduce the expertise needed to manage workloads
3. IBM z/OS Resource Measurement Facility is used to collect performance data for z/OS and Sysplex environments and tune and configure systems with this optional feature
4. z/OS Capacity Provisioning is used to address needs for short-term workload and processor utilization fluctuations for which on/off capacity on demand or soft capping changes apply
5. IBM Z Instant Recovery is used to process a transactional backlog by up to 2x faster and process a batch backlog by up to 2.5x faster
6. IBM HMC Mobile is used to monitor IBM Z mainframes and partitions from anywhere at any time

Next Post

Next post, I’ll continue with this series focused on systems, network and applications.
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