Linux on System z advantages

Keeping it simple, do more with less
Linux on System z adds core strengths to Linux applications:

These IT strengths manifest as business advantages and distinguish Linux on System z from other Linux platforms. Linux on System z provides competitive advantage without compromise.

See how Linux on System z helps you do more with less.

Single server efficiency

Linux on a System z server, together with z/VM virtualization software, can do the job of many distributed servers scattered across the enterprise. That means that the virtualization capabilities in a single 3.16 square meters System z footprint can help to support up to hundreds or thousands of virtual Linux servers, each virtual server deployable in minutes.

Furthermore, a single IBM System z server doesn’t require external networking to communicate between the virtual Linux servers. All of servers are inside the box, communicating via very fast internal I/O connections.

Consider also the potential gains in software licensing, because the pricing model for most distributed software products is linked to the number of processors cores.

Operational efficiency

Linux on System z benefits from the virtualization technologies built into every System z server, which offer world-class virtualization for the business and result in operational efficiency. The virtualization allows you to create and manage discrete virtual processors, communications, storage and I/O devices in a single System z server. With the new z/VM Version 6 Release 3 you can benefit from the improved horizontal scalability, enabling to run more virtual Linux servers in one z/VM instance, therefore reducing the administrative efforts.

The impressive operational management capabilities consists of many functions and products, such as the z/VM Single System Image feature that allows to cluster z/VM images and manage it as a single z/VM system, or the z/VM Virtual Machine Resource Manager. All tools for systems administrators are working hand-in-hand to help keep the Linux-based services running at the most optimal level and utilizing resources efficiently.

Physical and virtual resources can be dynamically shared or reconfigured, helping to simplify the demands placed upon your IT staff.

Energy & floor space efficiency

The System z virtualization technologies deliver enormous capabilities that allow easy consolidation and the deployment of new workloads onto a single System z server. The modular design, efficient dense packaging, high efficiency power supplies, resource sharing and industry-leading virtualization-all this contributes to the energy and space efficiency of System z servers.

Smart data

Looking at enterprise data environments, you find a lot of databases used for the different IT functions, such as development, test and production, as well as for enterprise divisions, such as finance, human resources or sales. The underlying IT infrastructure requires high scalability and flexibility, the possibility of running multiple and different database versions in parallel, fast communication capabilities, and highest levels of availability and security.

The System z and Linux provide a data ready infrastructure by bringing the data and infrastructure strategy together. In addition, the Linux environment supports not only IBM databases, such as IBM DB2 or IBM Informix, but as well databases from other software vendors, e.g. Oracle, and open source, e.g. MySQL, to run side-by-side on one physical System z server.

Business integration

An enterprise data warehouse infrastructure as the foundation allows fully benefiting and leveraging from the collocation advantages of running business intelligence and business analytics solutions on System z. System z offers a complete solution portfolio, including IBM software for Linux from the DB2, InfoSphere, Cognos and SPSS families, which help everyone from executives to data analysts on the front line gain insight and foresight. Real-time monitoring, reporting, analysis, dashboards and a robust set of predictive analytics enable everyone to make smart, proactive business decisions when and where they are needed.

Applications running on the same physical System z server, such as WebSphere-based Java applications on Linux, benefit from the high speed access to data.

System z provides the business with access to correct information and ensures the highest levels of data security and audit ability throughout the enterprise.


System z servers deliver ultimate security to address challenges of cost, complexity and compliance. Designed to be shared by thousands of users, System z has security built into nearly every level of the computer - from the processor level, to the operating system to the application level. This design helps protect System z from malware, viruses and threats from insiders.

System z ensures privacy and isolation of sensitive data and the integrity of critical information via its security features. It delivers EAL5 certification1, and can save in security audit and compliance overhead.

Linux on System z allows running workloads with the highest security requirements, supporting acceleration of and access to complex cryptographic algorithms available with the cryptographic hardware.


Linux on System z inherits the outstanding business resilience2 of the System z environment. Resiliency technologies are deeply embedded into System z design.

The System z product line is designed to offer layer upon layer of fault tolerance and error-checking features. If a failure occurs, the redundancy that is built into the platform shifts the work from failing components to healthy ones to prevent the application and user service from being interrupted. In addition, failed components may be non-disruptively removed and replaced while applications are active, reducing risk of downtime.

In addition, the IBM z/VM Single System Image feature allows for Live Guest Relocation, providing application continuity across planned z/VM and hardware outages and flexible workload balancing.

The System z resiliency extends beyond hardware to support applications, resulting in an integrated environment where hardware, firmware, operating systems, and middleware work together to provide application and data availability and resiliency