IBM z Systems - Migrate to IBM

Migrate to IBM z Systems

Migrating to IBM z Systems mainframes has never been easier or more worthwhile.


Migrating to z Systems has never been easier. And that decision has never made more economic sense. z Systems provides leadership in Linux, cloud, analytics, and mobile computing along with advanced security and resiliency features for enterprises that require high levels of application availability and information processing, and the capability to reallocate resources on the fly to match changing business priorities.

z Systems systems, priced to satisfy a wide range of customer needs, mean mainframe quality of service is within reach of nearly all organizations. Highly granular upgrade options enable z Systems platforms to support optimum levels of system flexibility and control. Specialty processors (IFL's, zIIPs, zAAPs) help reduce IBM software usage costs and accelerate workload execution to make the migration case even stronger. So do security certifications like EAL 5+, and the intrinsic security of hypersockets and other unique features.

With z Systems commitment to open and industry standards (Linux, Java etc), the mainframe can help customers improve business applications and processes to deliver a competitive advantage.

Why proactive migration is a wise strategic choice

Migrating from one server platform to another can be challenging. But when you're faced with a server platform that can no longer support your business needs, proactive migration is a strategic step in the right direction. With IBM’s broad range of offerings, you can choose the system that is the best enabler for your business and IT objectives.

z Systems Frequently Asked Questions

The sales of IBM z Systems servers have been growing steadily since the year 2000. The z Systems continues the mainframe tradition of providing the most trusted and resilient platform for large businesses. The extreme scalability of z Systems can offer significant cost savings on core business processes. Freed resources can be used to focus on developing new services to drive growth.

The following questions and answers address frequent inquiries by business leaders who have expressed an interest in IBM z Systems technology for their organization.

Q: How is IBM helping to ensure that there will be enough of a skilled workforce to cost-effectively support my mainframe in the future?

A: The IBM z Systems Academic Initiative has assisted many businesses with mainframes to locate new talent and to train their current talent. The program enables schools world wide to integrate mainframe topics and courses into the curriculum by providing remote access to systems, courses, textbooks, student contests, workshops, and most importantly connecting IBM clients with educators teaching the mainframe. Over 1000 schools from 67 countries have used the program. The Master the Mainframe Contest has run in 33 countries with 68K students since 2005. Many IBM clients use the program to either locate a school teaching mainframes or to enroll their current employees in a high quality instructor led online mainframe education program sponsored by the z Systems Academic Initiative.

IBM continues to simplify and advance software interfaces in the operating system and middleware products to enrich the user experience and increase administrator and systems programmer productivity. New tools from Rational (RDz), CICS (explorer), and z/OS (systems management) are all examples of simplification that are improving the user experience.

Q: Are ISVs interested in supporting the IBM mainframe over the long term and, if so, what are the benefits of their sticking with z Systems?

A: Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) are enthusiastic about z Systems, and IBM continues to invest in resources and programs to actively recruit and attract ISVs to the platform. Over 1500 ISVs build, sell and support their software applications on the IBM z Systems platform. ISVs develop solutions for the traditional critical operating environments like z/OS and z/VSE™, as well as Java™, Linux® and Open Source. Mainframes typically run large-scale, critical applications that help drive the business of the world's major enterprises.

These application vendors recognize that the majority of the world's critical business data resides on IBM z Systems servers, including applications from ISV's such as SAP, PeopleSoft, Oracle, ACI, Infosys, Sopra, Temenos and many others.To view applications that run on the z Systems platform from our ISV's visit IBM's Global Solution Directory

Q: How will putting Linux on z Systems provide me with superior application availability, performance and TCO?

A: Linux on z Systems is an economical, secure and available high performance platform for enterprise-class Linux workloads. z Systems continues to advance these capabilities and improve server consolidation ratio and IT optimization capabilities with new enhancements to IBM z/VM and strong partnerships with our Linux distributers.

Linux and z/VM on z Systems continue to extend z Systems industry leadership in large-scale, cost-efficient virtual server hosting for server and application consolidation and IT optimization. Linux and z/VM deliver unique business values by taking advantage of capabilities available on the z Systems architecture only.

Linux on z Systems

IBM z Systems is designed to handle multiple workloads, and IBM z/VM® extends this capability to users who run Linux on an Integrated Facility for Linux (IFL) under z/VM. By using these sophisticated systems-management capabilities, many customers have realized significant savings by consolidating large numbers of servers onto a single z Systems footprint.

A primary strength of z Systems systems is the capability to run multiple, concurrent enterprise applications and dynamically allocate resources designed to meet business requirements. This is different from dedicating a single server to a single application. The value of z Systems is in its overall capacity and its ability to manage that capacity in a sophisticated cost-effective fashion, which is far more than the one-dimensional view of performance based on CPU clock speed.

IBM's virtualization software can enable the server's disk storage, memory, processor and network resources to be shared among all of the virtual servers, leveraging z/VM capabilities to manage the virtual servers dynamically to help meet the business objectives set by the user.

Summary: This virtualization software, coupled with advanced hardware technology like IBM z Systems HiperSockets™, can help eliminate the need for a potentially expensive and complex external network for inter-server communication, and the need to acquire dedicated resources for each individual server in the solution. Additionally, z Systems HiperSockets provides extreme security compared to the communication alternatives like TCP-IP, for example. z Systems provides the quality of service, flexibility and control, as well as the security IBM is renowned for — all within the price and value boundaries that customers seek — at highly competitive economics.

Q: Select analyst whitepapers contend that other systems can deliver better availability at a significantly lower total cost of ownership (TCO) of the IBM z Systems mainframe. How do we respond to that?

A: Although a TCO analysis that compares only software and hardware costs at times might appear favorable to distributed servers, it is IBM's position that a comprehensive TCO for any system should include continuing costs, such as software support costs, cost of downtime, and the cost of personnel to manage the systems, not just acquisition costs. Availability, business continuity, security, utilization and performance are critical elements to be considered in TCO analysis. Because mainframes typically provide higher utilization and automated workload, per processor software costs can be lower, software management costs can be lower, overall administration costs can be lower, power and cooling can be lower and there can be less demand for expensive floor space.

The bottom line is that when you consider all of these critical factors, the TCO for mainframes can be shown to be lower over the life of the asset.

Q: How does IBM continue to drive innovation with z Systems?

IBM z Systems continues to be a leader in the industry, pioneering technologies, such as virtualization and systems automation technology, thanks to continue investment and innovation. For the last decade, clients around the world have benefited tremendously from the strengths of Linux on z Systems:

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Browse z Systems


Infrastructure matters. Businesses turn to the IBM mainframe for unmatched security, operational efficiency, speed, seamless scale, and lower cost per transaction. The IBM z System, the world’s premier data and transaction engine, is enabled for mobile, integrates transactions and analytics, and delivers efficient and trusted clouds.

Operating Systems

IBM z Systems supports multiple operation systems:


IBM z Systems combine leading-edge innovation and unparalleled capabilities to power cloud, business analytics, mobile applications, and the most important workloads.

Migrating to Linux on z Systems

Ready to migrate to Linux? You're in good company,