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What Can Linux on z Systems Do for You?

What’s important to clients about the IBM z13* announcement is not necessarily its 141 cores, 10 TB of memory or the Java* performance improvements. While those facts are noteworthy, clients want to know what they can do with the system.

Most clients know they can rely on the mainframe to run mixed workloads and run them well. Many clients have also purchased and deployed the z Systems* platform for its Linux* capabilities, which is a great testament to value proposition of Linux on z Systems.

“There is a place for low-end commodity servers to run Linux workloads, but there are times when our clients absolutely need the enterprise-grade capabilities that our platform provides in a Linux environment and that is why our clients are so into Linux on z Systems,” says Bryan Foley, business line manager for Linux on z Systems. We recently sat down with Foley to learn more about IBM’s plans for Linux on z Systems.

Q: If you could summarize IBM’s Linux on z Systems strategy in a couple of sentences, what would you say?
IBM strives to continue to make Linux on z Systems as open and accessible as any other platform. Clients are choosing Linux as their OS of choice for many workloads. IBM believes it is a great platform to deploy workloads on. Clients should be able to leverage z Systems for their Linux workloads and have the tooling, middleware and capabilities that they want to use available on this platform. We will continue to provide differentiated value underneath Linux taking advantage of our hardware capabilities.

Clients should view Linux on z Systems as a great platform to deploy workloads that require increased qualities of service. Given the proximity to the enterprise data and transactions running on z/OS* throughout enterprises, the capability of Linux on z Systems to interact with those systems of record serving as the system of engagement and/or the system of insight on the same server in close proximity to the system of record is our clients’ advantages. They benefit from reduced latency, increased throughput, better performance, higher levels of security context around the system of record as well as the system of engagement and/or system of insight.

We also are increasing our effort to build out a more robust ecosystem. This is a large part of our strategy going forward, having choice on the platform regardless of your choice in tooling and middleware. We will continue to make sure industry-specific business applications are available on the platform. We are working to find more innovation that better fits z/OS and Linux on z Systems running together to make that the best two-tier platform. We are committed to helping clients extend the valuable business processes they have built on z Systems over the years and incorporate the most innovative technologies into those workloads.

Evelyn Hoover is the content director of IBM Systems magazine. She can be reached at



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