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 System z servers. The IFL is supported by the z/VM virtualization and IBM Wave for z/VM software 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 the zEnterprise servers enables you to host more virtual servers per processor core than other server platforms. Combined with the up to 101 user-configurable IFLs on the zEC12 and up to 13 user-configurable IFLs on the zBC12, the total Linux processing capacity has enormously increased with the latest zEnterprise servers.

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 System z Linux server – a Linux-only server, meaning that all processors are IFLs on this server.

The IBM Enterprise Linux Server can master IT complexity by doing more for less, saving you time, energy and money, allowing you to focus on what matters most for your business. It 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 System z servers, z/VM virtualization and IBM Wave for z/VM virtualization management software to greatly enhance the economic attractiveness of hosting Linux workloads in a single, easy-to-scale, easy-to-mange system. The Enterprise Linux Server includes processor cores, memory, I/O connectivity, and z/VM and IBM Wave for z/VM software with solution pricing that helps accelerate return on investment.

The Enterprise Linux Server provides an ideal platform for enterprise-class Linux deployment.

IFL Attributes

No additional IBM software charges for traditional environment

In this example a traditional System z environment with three general purpose processors adds additional workspace and software in an IFL but still reports its System z 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 System z 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 System z applications on your System z servers is unaffected by adding the IFL to the server, please contact your software vendor.

The picture below 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 System z server.

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