Integrated Facility for Linux (IFL)

Reduce licensing costs with IFL
The Integrated Facility for Linux (IFL) is a processor dedicated to Linux workloads on IBM z Systems. The IFL is supported by z/VM virtualization, IBM Wave for z/VM and the Linux operating system; it cannot run other IBM operating systems.

The attractively priced IFL processor enables you to add processing capacity exclusively for Linux workloads.

The fast speed of the IFL on z Systems enables you to host many virtual servers per processor core. Combined with the up to 141 user-configurable IFLs on a z13, up to 101 on a zEC12 and up to 13 on a zBC12, the total Linux processing capacity has enormously increased with the latest z Systems.

The Linux deployment on IFL’s can reduce your expenses in the areas of operational efforts, energy, floor space and especially in software.


The IBM Linux Enterprise Server

The IBM Enterprise Linux Server is a dedicated z Systems Linux server – a Linux-only server, meaning that all processors are IFLs on this server.

The IBM Enterprise Linux Server offers an enterprise grade Linux infrastructure with the power and flexibility is designed to provide datacenter simplicity, trusted operations and unrivaled economics by providing unrivaled power, performance and flexibility in one efficient and economical server.

The IBM Enterprise Linux Server builds on the robust and reliable virtualization capabilities available with IBM z Systems, z/VM virtualization and IBM Wave for z/VM virtualization management to greatly enhance the economic attractiveness of hosting Linux workloads in a single, easy-to-scale, easy-to-manage system. The Enterprise Linux Server includes processor cores, memory, I/O connectivity, z/VM and IBM Wave for z/VM with solution pricing that helps accelerate return on investment.

The Enterprise Linux Server provides an enterprise grade Linux environment.

IFL Attributes

No additional IBM software charges for traditional environment

In this example a traditional z Systems environment with three general purpose - “standard” processors adds additional workspace and software in an IFL but still reports its z Systems capacity. Consequently, executing Linux workload on the IFL does not result in any increase in monthly license charges for the IBM operating systems or IBM software running on the general purpose processor.

Traditional z Systems environment – business as usual

One IFL added

Multiple IFLs and IBM software added

Moreover, your software vendor may be among those software vendors who have adopted this IBM model for the hardware workspace dedicated to Linux. To determine if the vendor software charges for existing z Systems applications on your z Systems is unaffected by adding the IFL to the server, please contact your software vendor.

The picture above shows an example with many IFLs and different workloads running concurrently on Linux guests with z/VM, native Linux, z/OS and z/VSE, communicating via HiperSockets, on one physical z Systems server.

* Open source applications such as Apache and Samba are included in the cost for the Linux distribution.