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Meet the New IBM z15 and IBM LinuxONE III Models

The new air-cooled, single-frame IBM z15 Model T02 and LinuxONE III LT2 are designed to provide organizations of all sizes with flexible compute options.

Ross Mauri

Ross Mauri, general manager, IBM Z and LinuxONE, Image by Matt Carr

Every client’s cloud journey is unique—there’s no one-size-fits-all. But most organizations are or will soon be operating in a hybrid multicloud environment. In this environment, you are challenged to keep data secured, systems available and costs manageable. Meeting these challenges requires the right IT infrastructure. 

Enter the New IBM Z and IBM LinuxONE Models 

New air-cooled, single-frame models are now available for IBM Z® and LinuxONE® to help you succeed in a hybrid cloud environment. The new IBM z15™ Model T02 and LinuxONE III LT2 are designed to provide organizations of all sizes with flexible compute options. Businesses can take advantage of the competitive total cost of ownership benefits of these efficient, 19-inch form factor systems. They are designed to slot into cloud data center racks and coexist with other platforms in a cloud data center. The new models also come with a second drawer, which increases capacity along with resiliency and high-availability capabilities.

Enable a Cloud Native Experience on IBM Z

Enterprise clients operating in a hybrid multicloud environment need consistency in building applications and managing systems and skills across tools and runtimes. In addition to developing and deploying cloud native applications, IBM clients are modernizing existing mission-critical applications to help achieve economies of scale and increase speed to market.
 
Red Hat® OpenShift® is a hybrid cloud, enterprise Kubernetes platform, and is now available on IBM Z. OpenShift delivers an integrated open-source Platform-as-a-Service supporting application build through deployment. Red Hat OpenShift for IBM Z and LinuxONE combines the portability and agility of containers and Kubernetes with the security, scalability and reliability of IBM Z. This platform is designed to enable you to build applications once and deploy them anywhere.
 
IBM Z integrates into cloud native ecosystems for access and use by administrators, developers, and architects—without requiring IBM Z-specific programming skills. With IBM Z, you can deliver new applications and services leveraging open-source tools and containerization. IBM Z also introduces a path for development and operational agility through integration of IBM z/OS® assets into cloud platforms, through IBM z/OS Cloud Broker, which now integrates with OpenShift.
 
"These innovative solutions offer cloud automation and consistent tooling for developers to build new cloud-native applications while also modernizing existing applications. They can build once and deploy anywhere, in the cloud and on-prem while achieving operational efficiencies," explains Ross Mauri, general manager, IBM Z and LinuxONE.
 
Decrease Complexity and Expedite Time to Value 
 
IBM and Red Hat are also delivering key software technologies that solve cloud native challenges to the IBM Z and LinuxONE platforms. “The primary use case for our IBM Z clients is ensuring full and equal participation of their Z-based data in their hybrid multicloud strategy,” notes Brian Lang, program director for Linux® Offering Management and IBM Z.
 
Previously, organizations ran Linux applications in an application layer (e.g., application services such as WebSphere® Application Server accessing data hosted on Linux or z/OS). Now, envision a world where the Linux application layer is running containerized application services rather than large application deployments. In this scenario, containers are deployed by OpenShift on the platform, enabling access to the mission-critical data on IBM Z and LinuxONE—through containers and microservices.
 
“IBM Z’s design of colocating containers in proximity to IBM Z data provides users with the benefits of security and resiliency found on IBM Z platform. The additional benefit of using OpenShift to manage those deployments is that you can run those containerized applications across private or public cloud infrastructure, and that includes IBM Z and LinuxONE,” adds Lang.

Encrypt Data Everywhere

Expanding on data protection made available with IBM z14® pervasive encryption, IBM launched IBM Data Privacy Passports with the z15. IBM Data Privacy Passports is a data privacy and security enforcement solution designed to control access and revocation to off-platform eligible data across your enterprise[1]. You can choose who accesses data, and when and at what level to revoke their access. Data Privacy Passports is designed to protect your eligible data, at-rest and in-flight with no application changes[2].
 
“The ability to control who has access to data across the enterprise has important implications around meeting data privacy regulations. This solution is designed to help clients with their efforts to reduce the risks associated with a security breach and to help them address compliance requirements,” explains Rick Schoonmaker, IBM Z hardware offering manager.
 
To extend data protection further, IBM Data Privacy for Diagnostics allows z/OS users to protect private data by redacting sensitive information and data from diagnostic dumps before they are shared with partners. "When clients send IBM a diagnostic dump, the sensitive personal information (SPI) within the dump gets tagged and can be redacted before being sent,” says Schoonmaker.

Achieve Cyberresiliency and Business Continuity

Customers expect your services to be always on and accessible—24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. That means your IT systems must be always on. This requires the highest levels of systems availability, uptime and resiliency. Even the most reliable systems require planned downtime for routine maintenance and security patching. Having a resilient system means you can get back up and running and recover quickly from planned maintenance and disruptions.
 
Continuous availability solutions based on IBM Z technology and underpinned by IBM DS8900F[3] and TS7770 storage help ensure clients can maximize uptime and resume operations quickly following downtime.[4] With IBM DS8900F and TS7770 storage, organizations can extend IBM Z business continuity, high availability[5] and disaster recovery capabilities. Meet SLAs by recovering access to your data in seconds and operating important services without interruptions.[6]
 
Reduce Impact of Downtime With Instant Recovery 
 
Although IBM z15 solutions are designed to deliver 99.99999% availability[7], planned maintenance is likely needed. IBM Z Instant Recovery can reduce the impact of planned and unplanned downtime[8]. First introduced with the z15, the capability will also be available on the new IBM z15 Model T02 for z/OS clients. “One IBM client said, 'It's like magic; we turned it on, and it just worked,’ ” notes Mauri. Boost capabilities built into the hardware mean users don't have to make changes to take advantage of this powerful new capability.
 
Instant Recovery allows organizations to invoke the full power of their engines during the recovery boost period. By allowing sub-capacity engines to run at full speed, and general-purpose workloads to run on zIIP engines, clients can get back up and running to normal levels in up to half the time as compared to IBM z14[9]. For the IBM clients in this space who are running subcap engines, this feature will be a powerful new technology. “During the recovery boost period, a client can run their existing general-purpose z/OS workloads at full speed and on any existing zIIPs running,” explains Schoonmaker. “This powerful new feature gives clients who are not yet taking advantage of the power of zIIP engines a compelling reason to take another look.”


Scale Trusted Execution Environments With Secure Execution 

Trusted Execution Environments (TEE) are hardware-based security technologies that can promote a high level of validity, isolation and access control over assets stored in this space compared to general-purpose software environments. The new IBM Secure Execution for Linux technology provides scalable isolation for individual workloads to protect from attacks such as malicious administrative access[10].
 
The scaling of fully secured and isolated environments can be market-defining for managed service providers (MSPs) and cloud service providers (CSPs). More memory and capacity in the new single-frame models are good news for clients looking at consolidating servers, too. Now you can consolidate machines, migrate and run capacity-hungry workloads on one box.
 
More granularity and scale of workload isolation are also needed for cloud solutions. For instance, when CSPs host workloads for different clients, including competitors, they need to be able to isolate them on the same machine. Secure Execution, an exclusive IBM Z and LinuxONE hardware-based TEE, makes it possible. "IBM has taken its Secure Execution for Linux technology to the next level, enabling users to run secured, isolated workloads," explains Nada Santiago, the IBM LinuxONE hardware offering manager. “With this Secure Execution technology and the ability to now have 40 Hardware Security Modules (HSMs) per machine, clients can achieve a scalable virtualization solution for their containerized workloads,” says Santiago.
 
The new IBM Z and LinuxONE models provide a truly scalable cloud solution, offering full guest isolation that protects against internal and external threats. “Clients can now deploy secured, fully isolated virtual environments at scale on a single system. Workloads now have protection against both internal and external threats with full guest isolation. Not even a system admin or Kubernetes master can see into what's running in that guest,” explains Schoonmaker.

Get More Power and Capacity With Flexible Compute 

To speed time to market, clients need flexible, agile infrastructure. Flexible compute means clients of all sizes can consume technology when and how they need it.
 
The new z15 and LinuxONE single-frame models introduce a second drawer, which increases capacity and strengthens the platform's already strong resiliency and high-availability capabilities, and can reduce planned outage disruption[11]. “Clients will now have the ability to evacuate workload over to the second drawer while keeping the server and workload up and running,” explains Schoonmaker. 
 
The ability to configure a second drawer on the newest z15 models can help improve availability. It can also boost core and memory density, allowing users to run more critical Linux workloads. The increase in core density gives clients 65 Linux IFLs—and the single processor capacity of the T02 for full speed configurations is about 70% greater than on the zBC12, and 25% greater than the z13s[12]—all in an air-cooled, single-frame box. Users can also double their memory, increasing processing capabilities for new workloads such as machine learning and AI.[13] 

Extending Powerful Capabilities Across the IBM Z Family

Organizations are now looking at how they can accelerate their digital transformation to keep pace with fast-moving and changing environments. Clients can get the best from their modern digital workloads, leveraging either IBM Z or LinuxONE systems as secured, flexible and affordable cloud platforms. “Our new single-frame systems are packed with features to satisfy client demand in four critical areas, including cloud native, data encryption, cyberresiliency and flexible compute. The new models round out the impressive range of systems available to IBM clients, from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies,” says Mauri.
 
[1] Data Privacy Passports on IBM Z/LinuxONE III is a consolidated data-centric audit and protection technology (DCAP) that has the capability to protect eligible data along its journey by setting appropriate data protection controls for your enterprise, can help clients reduce the risks associated from a security breach, and can also help address compliance requirements. Disclaimer: Data Privacy Passports supports data sources that can be accessed through a JDBC connection.
[2] Data Privacy Passports protects only structured data sources that support JDBC. May vary based on data types, database schema and data use and SQL queries.
[3] DS8900 is designed to deliver greater than seven-nines (99.99999) availability.
[4] IBM z15 solutions are designed to deliver 99.99999% availability. Disclaimer: Internal data based on measurements and projections was used in calculating the expected value. The z15 servers must be configured in a parallel sysplex using z/OS 2.3 or above; GDPS management of data and middleware recovery across Metro distance systems and storage, including GDPS Metro Multi-site Workload and GDPS Continuous Availability; and DS888X with IBM HyperSwap. Necessary resiliency technology must be enabled, such as System Managed CF Structure Duplexing, Sysplex failure management and Capacity Provisioning Manager. Other configurations may provide different availability characteristics.
[5] Better than seven 9's availability (99.999996%) with HyperSwap and multi-target PPRC in MGM environments
[6] With multi-site data replication for disaster recovery, DS8900F provides continuous access to data for mission-critical environments. HyperSwap technology provides no-data-loss capabilities within metro distances, and at more than 1,000 miles, IBM Geographically Dispersed Parallel Sysplex enables the rapid recovery of business operations with two to four seconds RPO and less than 60 seconds RTO. Disclaimer: Based on real customer metrics with GDPS continuous availability environments
[7] Disclaimer: Internal data based on measurements and projections was used in calculating the expected value. The z15 servers must be configured in a parallel sysplex using z/OS 2.3 or above; GDPS management of data and middleware recovery across Metro distance systems and storage, including GDPS Metro Multi-site Workload and GDPS Continuous Availability; and DS888X with IBM HyperSwap. Necessary resiliency technology must be enabled, such as System Managed CF Structure Duplexing, Sysplex failure management and Capacity Provisioning Mgr. Other configurations may provide different availability characteristics.
[8] IBM System Recovery Boost (Instant Recovery) on z15, enables a z/OS partition to return to your pre-shutdown SLAs in up to 50% less time than on z14. Disclaimer: z15 z/OS partitions benefit from IBM System Recovery Boost for one boost period of 30 minutes during shutdown and 60 minutes during restart. Measurements were collected in a controlled environment running an IBM developed workload under z/OS 2.4 comprised of online transactions accessing WAS, CICS, MQ, IMS and Db2. Comparisons were made between z15 with IBM System Recovery Boost and z14. Individual client results may vary.
[9] IBM System Recovery Boost (Instant Recovery) on z15, enables a z/OS partition to return to your pre-shutdown SLAs in up to 50% less time than on z14. Disclaimer: z15 z/OS partitions benefit from IBM System Recovery Boost for one boost period of 30 minutes during shutdown and 60 minutes during restart. Measurements were collected in a controlled environment running an IBM developed workload under z/OS 2.4, comprised of online transactions accessing WAS, CICS, MQ, IMS and Db2. Comparisons were made between z15 with IBM System Recovery Boost and z14. Individual client results may vary.
[10] Disclaimer: Cryptographic isolation uses special encryption keys in the hardware. IBM Secure Execution is supported on the latest z15 and LinuxONE III generation machines (including T02 and LT2).
[11] The z15 Model T02 Max65 offers a two-drawer system configuration allowing concurrent drawer repairs; a first for the IBM Z family of single frame, entry level mainframes.
[12] The single processor capacity of IBM z15 T02/LT2 for full speed configurations is approximately 25% greater than on z13s with some variation based on workload and configuration. Single processor capacity of IBM z15 T02/LT2 for full speed configurations is approximately 70% greater than on zBC12 with some variation based on workload and configuration.
[13] z15 T02 supports up to 2X the total memory supported by z14 ZR1. z15 T02 supports up to a maximum of 16TB of memory versus the maximum 8 TB supported by z14 ZR1.

IBM Z and LinuxONE General Manager Ross Mauri on Putting Clients First

Everything we do starts with our clients first. The process began with the z14—the most successful generation from a MIPS shipped perspective. Only a few months into the z15 era, client reaction is unprecedented. Clients are telling me that our IBM Design Thinking process has led to a renaissance of z/OS. Design Thinking has been a game-changer that brings a whole new dimension into the IBM Z and LinuxONE team.

What IBM is achieving through the process of Design Thinking is a focused prioritization of what resonates the most with clients—what's going to have the most impact. In the spirit of Agile, what doesn't resonate is put in the backlog. Our Agile processes require brilliant engineers and innovators. What's different is that the work they’re doing, every step of the way, is informed and tempered by the client voice.

Involving our business partners and clients in our Design Thinking and Agile processes also sets our systems apart. We have a spectrum of client engagements, ranging from our IBM Z Design Council, General Managers Advisory Council, Business Partner Advisory Council to individual client interlocks and sponsor user discussions. These discussions help ensure we are listening to their input, understanding their pain points and figuring out what the primary areas we need to address are. 

—Ross Mauri, general manager, IBM Z and LinuxONE

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