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z/VM V6.3 Statement of Direction

On January 14, 2015, IBM announced multiple statements of direction:

  • z/VM support for Single Instruction Multiple Data (SIMD):
    In a future deliverable IBM intends to deliver support to enable z/VM guests to exploit the Vector Facility for z/Architecture (SIMD).
  • Enhanced RACF password encryption algorithm for z/VM:
    In a future deliverable an enhanced RACF/VM password encryption algorithm is planned. This support will be designed to provide improved cryptographic strength using AES-based encryption in RACF/VM password algorithm processing. This planned design is intended to provide better protection for encrypted RACF password data in the event that a copy of RACF database becomes inadvertently accessible.
  • Removal of support for Expanded Storage (XSTORE):
    z/VM V6.3 is the last z/VM release that will support Expanded Storage (XSTORE) for either host or guest usage. The IBM z13 server family will be the last z Systems server to support Expanded Storage (XSTORE).
  • Stabilization of z/VM V6.2 support:
    The IBM z13 server family is planned to be the last z Systems server supported by z/VM V6.2 and the last z Systems server that will be supported where z/VM V6.2 is running as a guest (second level). This is in conjunction with the statement of direction that the IBM z13 server family will be the last to support ESA/390 architecture mode, which z/VM V6.2 requires. z/VM V6.2 will continue to be supported until December 31, 2016, as announced in announcement letter # 914-012.
  • Product Delivery of z/VM on DVD/Electronic only:
    z/VM V6.3 will be the last release of z/VM that will be available on tape. Subsequent releases will be available on DVD or electronically.

On July 23, 2013, IBM announced z/VM Version 6 Release 3. Included in the announcement were multiple statements of direction:

  • Security Evaluation of z/VM V6.3:
    IBM intends to evaluate z/VM V6.3 with the RACF Security Server feature, including labeled security, for conformance to the Operating System Protection Profile (OSPP) of the Common Criteria standard for IT security, ISO/IEC 15408, at Evaluation Assurance Level 4 (EAL4+).
  • FIPS Certification of z/VM V6.3:
    IBM intends to pursue an evaluation of the Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 140-2 using National Institute of Standards and Technology's (NIST) Cryptographic Module Validation Program (CMVP) for the System SSL implementation utilized by z/VM V6.3.
  • Support of the 10GbE RoCE Express feature:
    In a future z/VM deliverable IBM plans to offer support for guest exploitation of the 10GbE RoCE Express feature (#0411) on the IBM zEnterprise EC12 and IBM zEnterprise BC12 systems. This is to allow guests to utilize Remote Direct Memory Access over Converged Ethernet (RoCE) for optimized networking.
  • Support of the zEDC Express feature:
    In a future z/VM deliverable IBM plans to offer z/VM support for guest exploitation of the IBM zEnterprise Data Compression (zEDC) Express feature (#0420) on the IBM zEnterprise EC12 and IBM zEnterprise BC12 systems.
  • Stabilization of VM V5.4 support:
    Since this announcement, the end-of-service date for z/VM V5.4 was further extended. See the z/VM End of Service web page for current end-of-service dates.
    The IBM zEnterprise EC12 and IBM zEnterprise BC12 are planned to be the last System z servers supported by z/VM V5.4 and the last System z servers that will support z/VM V5.4 running as a guest (second level). z/VM V5.4 will continue to be supported until December 31, 2014, or until the IBM System z9 EC and IBM System z9 BC are withdrawn from support, whichever is later. Refer to Withdrawal Announcement 912-144, (RFA56762) dated August 7, 2012.
  • Withdrawal of support for Expanded Storage:
    z/VM 6.3 will be the last release to support expanded storage (XSTOR) as part of the paging configuration. With the enhanced memory management support added in z/VM V6.3, expanded storage is no longer recommended as part of the paging configuration. z/VM can run efficiently in a configuration using only central storage.

It was important to deliver a new z/VM release as a mechanism to set the stage for these planned future enhancements.

The virtualization technology provided by z/VM and the IBM System z platform is a cornerstone and key enabler for building a dynamic infrastructure and may help clients achieve operational goals of high availability, business resilience, improved speed-to-market, better resource control and reporting, and the flexibility to expand and contract system resources with changing business demands.

IBM's statements regarding its plans, directions, and intent are subject to change or withdrawal without notice at IBM's sole discretion. Information regarding potential future products is intended to outline our general product direction and it should not be relied on in making a purchasing decision. The information mentioned regarding potential future products is not a commitment, promise, or legal obligation to deliver any material, code, or functionality. Information about potential future products may not be incorporated into any contract. The development, release, and timing of any future features or functionality described for our products remains at our sole discretion.