Search Rocket site

Latest IBM Updates Make it Easier to Run Workloads in the Right Environment

Jeff Cherrington

May 25, 2023

Growing economic uncertainty and greater attention on climate issues are adding a new layer of challenges for mainframe modernization. And as more businesses seek ways to balance their mainframe modernization efforts with these shifting realities, IBM announced in April the rollout of critical enhancements to its IBM z16 and LinuxONE 4 solutions. With an eye toward greater sustainability and interoperability, the new configurations meet the needs of a broader range of data center and mainframe environments.

Put simply, certain workloads are best suited for certain environments—Linux works well for workloads centered around hosting a website or responding to interactive dialogue with customers. In comparison, mainframe systems like z/OS aren’t the best platform for hosting web pages. On the other hand, there is no better tech stack for managing high volume online, real-time transaction processing or dense, complex batch processing within compressed service windows than the z/OS mainframe. For organizations that depend on the mainframe, keeping the appropriate workloads in the right environment generates major benefits for their mainframe modernization efforts going forward. And at its core, shifting workloads off z/OS and onto Linux improves efficiency in operations, reducing strain on the z/OS partitions of the mainframe and freeing it up to do what it’s best at—real-time processing of high volumes of transactions. This is the heart and soul of enterprise IT modernization.

The changes introduced by IBM represent a major step forward for the mainframe, making it easier to get the right workloads into the right environment. Here are two of the biggest impacts the latest IBM z16 and LinuxONE 4 updates can have for businesses that depend on the mainframe.

Providing a Much-Needed Sustainability Boost

Data center operations for any tech stack require large amounts of energy, real estate, heating, ventilation, and a host of other elements—all these variables have a significant impact not just on an organization’s bottom line, but also on the environment. With that in mind, the new configurations and updates announced by IBM for z16 and LinuxONE 4 give more options for client infrastructure and ensure organizations gain more control over where they house critical workloads and that those workloads are run in the most efficient way possible.

The added configurations for z16 and LinuxONE 4 give those organizations the ability to take everything from two different systems and put it into a single standardized form factor. As a result, it becomes more efficient to use mainframe resources. It also means better use of physical elements like real estate, and a reduction in costs that surround running the data centers that house all this technology, from air conditioning to maintenance of physical hardware. Frequently, the mainframe in this configuration can support the same or greater volume of processing than a collection of non-mainframe servers, in a smaller footprint with lower all-in energy consumption.

Standardizing Instances Fuels Interoperability

Getting both z16 and LinuxONE into one common, shared instance transforms operations, making it possible for IT teams to create new data transfers and communications between what would otherwise be two separate boxes. Bringing those elements together greatly accelerates performance and interoperability between heterogeneous applications and systems.

Think of a business with a consumer banking application on LinuxONE. That application acts as the portal to your business, but on its own its usefulness is limited. This application also needs to give customers access to everything from personal demographic banking information to account balances, all with extremely low latency and responsiveness. And that low latency has been something that has become critical for organizations, particularly those that deal in those high-volume transactions. When a customer makes a payment or checks an account balance, any downtime or delay in showing the latest information can be damaging—a challenge that IBM is helping make more manageable with optimized workloads for z/OS and Linux systems.

The new capabilities launched by IBM are an important indicator for what we in the mainframe space should be focusing on. In an increasingly unpredictable world, reducing cost and environmental impact starts with boosting efficiency. And mounting disparate operating systems in a single standard rack in the data ensures fewer resources are eaten up, workloads are optimized, and z/OS mainframe partitions are freed up to take on more of what they are best at.

Are your IBM Z systems keeping up with the pace of modernization? Learn more about how Rocket Software’s infrastructure modernization solutions are ready to help accelerate your journey.