July 24, 2017 | Written by: Dave Sudlik
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I’ve seen a lot of excitement from developers around the July 17th launch of the latest IBM Z hardware and software (z/OS), and justifiably so. There are clear, significant benefits of IBM Z, including its security, resiliency and performance characteristics that make it a platform worthy of running your mission-critical enterprise applications.
And for all of these reasons—and more—it’s also a great platform to run WebSphere Application Server (WAS).
Many of the largest and most successful enterprises and government agencies use WAS z/OS. They run thousands of runtime instances simultaneously to process billions of transactions per month. Like all current WAS offerings, WAS z/OS consists of two Java EE-compliant application server runtime environments. One is our “traditional” WAS (tWAS), the other is the newer WebSphere Liberty server. Both are fully supported, resilient, secure, production-ready servers with unique operating characteristics, allowing you to choose the server that best suits your needs. But both tWAS and Liberty running on z/OS provide features that WAS is known for—and the z/OS platform extensions that IBM Z users expect.
We created Liberty a few years ago to better meet the needs of companies looking to develop a hybrid cloud infrastructure. It is composable, meaning it only includes the components your specific applications are using, making it lightweight and faster-starting. Liberty is also a pure Java-based server, enabling higher offload rates and therefore lower costs to users of IBM Z Systems Integrated Information Processor (zIIP) specialty engines.
Many IBM Z customers have begun to include WAS z/OS and Liberty as a core component of their application modernization strategies. They tell us it offers capabilities to modernize existing applications without the need to relocate them on another system.
As announced with the latest version of z/OS (V2R3), Liberty is now embedded in z/OS for use by elements and stack products. By sharing a single copy of Liberty, companies can reduce the maintenance overhead of multiple installed z/OS stack products.
Perhaps the best news? This embedded Liberty is also available at no additional charge for z/OS development use. Previously, WAS has been available at no charge for development use on desktop machines. So now you can think of this z/OS embedded Liberty as “WAS for developers on the mainframe.” It provides an excellent way to create an extended proof-of-concept to better understand how well your applications will run on z/OS, including zIIP offload characteristics.
So consider taking another look at IBM Z, specifically WAS z/OS, and WebSphere Liberty. This combination continues to grow and evolve, earning its reputation as a trusted and resilient platform designed to support companies’ most mission-critical work. If you’re ready to have an enterprise-grade platform that can deliver surpassed availability performance, and security, WAS z/OS is the solution for you.