What to know to start
The z/VM® hypervisor is designed to help extend the value of mainframe technology across the enterprise by integrating applications and data while providing exceptional levels of availability, security, and operational ease.
z/VM virtualization technology is designed to allow the capability to run hundreds to thousands of Linux® servers on a single mainframe running with other System z® operating systems, such as z/OS®, or as a large-scale Linux-only enterprise server solution.
z/VM V6.1 and z/VM V5.4 can also help to improve productivity by hosting non-Linux workloads such as z/OS, z/VSE®, and z/TPF on the same System z server or as a large-scale enterprise-server solution.
z/VM supports Linux, z/OS, z/OS.e, Transaction Processing Facility (TPF), and z/VSE. z/VM also supports z/VM as a guest operating system.
The z/VM base product includes the following components and facilities:
- Control Program (CP): CP is a hypervisor and real-machine resource manager.
- Conversational Monitor System (CMS): CMS provides a high-capacity application and interactive user environment and provides the z/VM file systems.
- TCP/IP for z/VM: TCP/IP for z/VM provides support for the TCP/IP networking environment.
- Advanced Program-to-Program Communication/Virtual Machine (APPC/VM) Virtual Telecommunications Access Method (VTAM) Support (AVS): AVS provides connectivity in an IBM Systems Network Architecture (SNA) network.
- Dump Viewing Facility: It is a tool for interactively diagnosing z/VM system problems.
- Group Control System (GCS): GCS is a virtual machine supervisor that provides multitasking services and supports a native SNA network.
- Hardware Configuration Definition (HCD) and Hardware Configuration Manager (HCM) for z/VM: HCD and HCM provide a comprehensive I/O configuration management environment.
- Language Environment for z/VM: Language Environment provides the runtime environment for z/VM application programs written in C/C++, COBOL, or PL/I.
- Open Systems Adapter/Support Facility (OSA/SF): OSA/SF is a tool for customizing the modes of operation of OSA hardware features.
- REXX/VM: REXX/VM contains the interpreter for processing the REXX programming language.
- Transparent Services Access Facility (TSAF): TSAF provides communication services within a collection of z/VM systems without using VTAM.
- Virtual Machine Serviceability Enhancements Staged/Extended (VMSES/E): VMSES/E provides a tools suite for installing and servicing z/VM and other enabled products.
z/VM also offers the following optional features:
- Data Facility Storage Management Subsystem for VM (DFSMS/VM): DFSMS/VM controls data and storage resources.
- Directory Maintenance Facility for z/VM (DirMaint): DirMaint provides interactive facilities for managing the z/VM user directory.
- Performance Toolkit for VM: Performance Toolkit provides tools for analyzing z/VM and Linux performance data.
- Resource Access Control Facility (RACF) Security Server for z/VM: RACF provides data security for an installation by controlling access to it.
- Remote Spooling Communications Subsystem (RSCS) Networking for z/VM: RSCS enables users to send messages, commands, files, and jobs to other users in a network.
To deploy virtualization for z/VM:
- Create logical partitions.
- Install and configure z/VM in one or more logical partitions.
- Create virtual machines.
- Install and configure guest operating systems.
- Configure virtual networks for the virtual systems.
Managing your virtual machines
z/VM manages virtual machines through the IBM Systems Director, the platform-management foundation that enables integration with Tivoli, and third-party management platforms. With it, you can:
- Automate data center operations.
- Unify the management of IBM servers, storage, and network devices.
- Simplify the management of physical and virtual platform resources.
- Reduce operational complexity and provides a view of the relationships and health status of IT systems.
You can even get a single view of the actual energy usage throughout your data center.
On the pro side:
- Ability to virtualize each LPAR into hundreds or more virtual machines.
- Ability to virtualize processor,memory, I/O, and networking resources.
- Dynamically configure processors, memory, I/O, and networking resources.
- Maximize resources to achieve high system utilization and advanced dynamic resource allocation.
- Experience advanced systems management, administration, and accounting tools.
On the con side:
- You will probably need highly skilled, mainframe-trained IT professionals to maintain.
Links for this series:
- The PowerVM site.
- Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 3.0 Administration Guide.
- VMware's Quick Start Guide version 5.17 | version 4.15.
- VMware vSphere overview.
- Getting Started with Xen Deployment online book.
- List of KVM documentation.
- Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 3.0 Administration Guide (for help with KVM).
- IBM Director's Virtualization Manager can let you manage all your z/VM virtualized systems from the same console.
- In the developerWorks cloud developer resources, discover and share knowledge and experience of application and services developers building their projects for cloud deployment.
- Find out how to access IBM SmartCloud Enterprise.
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- See the product images available for IBM SmartCloud Enterprise.
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- Read all the great cloud blogs on developerWorks.
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