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Successes Mount for Linux on System z

Usage patterns evolve, increasing value to customers


Looking back on more than a decade of solid growth, Linux* on System z* is a success story. In its 11-year history, the platform has undergone significant changes in its technology base, customer perception, market acceptance and usage patterns. The value of using Linux on the mainframe is largely represented by four characteristics:

  • Linux inherits and exploits System z platform capabilities
  • Its functionality includes scalability and platform integration
  • Its proximity to z/OS* assists with data access efficiency, integration into z/OS technology-based security, data-consistency grouping, data replication, high availability and disaster recovery procedures
  • The System z platform’s unique virtualization capabilities, with its built-in PR/SM* hypervisor and z/VM*, facilitate efficient scaling and can enable hosting thousands of Linux technology-based virtual server instances

Linux on System z installations range from consolidating a plethora of low-utilized servers to the replacement of large single-system footprints formerly hosted on standalone UNIX* servers. Scale-out and scale-up deployments offer distinct approaches to workload consolidation, leveraging virtualization technologies. While some might choose different server architectures for either deployment model on distributed servers, the mainframe delivers differentiated value for both. You can select either model or use them in combination.

From its inception at IBM, in close cooperation with its Linux distribution partners SUSE and Red Hat, Linux has reached a 20 percent MIPS share of the System z install base. Furthermore, Linux on System z has established itself as an OS ready for mission-critical business solutions.

Takeaway

  • In its 11-year history, Linux on System z has been deployed following different usage patterns, using a variety of workloads in different industry segments.
  • Accordingly, customer usage has advanced over the past decade to take advantage of the platform’s technical evolution.
  • Today, Linux represents 20 percent of MIPS on the mainframe install base.
  • Linux on System z has established itself as an OS ready for mission-critical business solutions.

Dr. Eberhard Pasch is a senior technical staff member in the IBM Linux Technology Center in the IBM Research and Development Lab in Germany. He leads the performance, test and service work for Linux on System z. He also works with customers on architecture, design and implementation of Linux solutions.

Ingo Adlung is an IBM Distinguished Engineer in IBM’s Systems and Technology Group and serves as chief architect for System z virtualization and Linux. He was a member of the team that ported Linux to the IBM mainframe platform and was responsible for the I/O attachment infrastructure and machine check processing.


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Successes Mount for Linux on System z

Usage patterns evolve, increasing value to customers

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