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z/VM overview

IBM z/VM is the premier mainframe virtualization platform, supporting more virtual servers than any other in a single footprint. It provides industry leading capabilities to efficiently scale both horizontally and vertically, enabling clients to support growing business demands while lowering the cost of service delivery. Long recognized as a robust virtualization computing platform, z/VM offers a base for customers who want to exploit IBM virtualization technology on one of the industry's best-of-breed server environments, IBM z System.

The z/VM hypervisor is designed to help clients extend the business value of mainframe technology across the enterprise by integrating applications and data while providing exceptional levels of availability, security, and operational ease. z/VM virtualization technology is designed to allow the capability for clients to run hundreds to thousands of Linux servers on a single mainframe running with other z Systems operating systems, such as z/OS, or as a large-scale Linux-only enterprise server solution. z/VM can also help to improve productivity by hosting non-Linux workloads such as z/OS, z/VSE, and z/TPF.

Offering more efficient use of resources for improved price performance with support for IBM z13

z/VM 6.3 provides support for multi-threading technology that extends per-processor core capacity growth beyond single-thread performance for Linux on z Systems IFL workloads with support for two threads per core in IBM z13 (z13). z/VM multi-threading technology support enables additional price performance benefits over previous hardware generations and meets workload requirements transparently. This design allows the z13 to deliver additional capacity across a wide range of CPU utilization for Linux workloads, crucial for mission critical applications and cloud service delivery.

z/VM V6.3 multi-thread support increases the capacity of z/VM to perform multiple units of work simultaneously. When multiple virtual machines are active, multi-threading allows more of them to execute at the same time, increasing overall throughput. This can lead to completing more transactions, faster response times, and increased resource utilization. In addition, z/VM multi-threading support is transparent to guests; no guest customization or exploitation is required.

In conjunction with multi-threading support, CPU scalability has been enhanced in z/VM 6.3 to support up to 64 dispatching units. As a result, on z13, z/VM 6.3 supports up to 64 cores without multi-threading enabled or up to 32 cores (and thus up to 64 threads) with multi-threading enabled.

Crytographic Acceleration

IBM z Systems Cryptographic features are designed to satisfy high-end server security requirements. They can be configured as coprocessors for secure key transactions or as accelerators for Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) communications, providing significant improvements in the performance of cryptographic algorithms used for encryption and public-private key pair generation and verification.

z/VM now supports the Crypto Express5S feature, a tamper-resistant cryptographic coprocessor, available to guests with either dedicated access for use in both secure-key and clear-key operations or with shared access for clear-key operations. z/VM can virtualize z Systems cryptographic devices so they can be shared by many Linux systems and supports greater than 16 domains for Crypto Express4S and Crypto Express5S.

z/VM can balance the workload across multiple cryptographic devices, and should one device fail or be brought offline, z/VM can transparently shift Linux systems using that device to an alternate cryptographic device without user intervention.

Leading the industry with increased availability and reduced cost of ownership in network environments

z/VM 6.3 provides Multi-VSwitch Link Aggregation Support. This functionality, new with IBM z13, allows a port group of OSA-Express features to span multiple virtual switches within a single z/VM system or between multiple z/VM systems. Sharing a Link Aggregation Port Group with multiple virtual switches increases optimization and utilization of the OSA-Express when handling larger traffic loads. Higher adapter utilization protects customer investments, which is increasingly important as 10 Gigabit deployments become more prevalent. With this support, a port group is no longer required to be dedicated to a single virtual switch.

IBM z Systems
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Linux on z Systems
Who is using Linux on z Systems? What applications are there? Have you heard about the Community Development System for Linux (CDSL)?
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