How to win at application modernization on IBM Z

By | 3 minute read | February 15, 2021

Simplify application modernization on an enterprise hybrid cloud platform

If you want to create new user experiences, improve development processes and unlock business opportunities, modernizing your existing enterprise applications is an important next step in your IT strategy. Application modernization can ease your overall transition to a hybrid cloud environment by introducing the flexibility to develop and run applications in the environment you choose. (If you haven’t already done so, check out our field guide to application modernization, where we’ve outlined some of the most common modernization approaches.)

Whether you’re focusing more on traditional enterprise applications or cloud-native applications, you’ll want to make sure that you are fully leveraging hybrid cloud management capabilities and DevOps automation pipelines for app deployment, configuration and updates.

With a cloud-native approach to modernization, your developers can take advantage of a microservice-based architecture. They can leverage containers and a corresponding container orchestration platform (such as Kubernetes and Red Hat® OpenShift®) to develop once and run applications anywhere — including on premises in your data center or off premises in one or more public clouds.

The benefits of modernizing on an enterprise hybrid cloud platform

At every stage of modernization, you can minimize risk and complexity by working from a platform that lets you develop, run and manage apps and workloads in a consistent way across a hybrid cloud environment. This will help ensure that everything on the app is done in a reliable, repeatable and secure manner, and it will help you to remove barriers to productivity and integration.

To that end, consider working from IBM Z® or IBM LinuxONE as your primary platform for application modernization. On either of these platforms you can continue running your existing apps while connecting them with new cloud-native applications at your own rate and pace, reducing risk and expense. You will also be able to leverage the inherent performance, reliability and security of the platform as you modernize your technology stack. They also provide a foundation for modern container-based apps (for example: web and middleware, cloud and DevOps, modern programming languages and runtimes, databases, analytics and monitoring).

Consider the following benefits:

Flexible, efficient utilization. IBM Z and IBM LinuxONE provide three approaches to virtualization to manage spikes and support more workloads per server with: IBM Logical Partitions, IBM z/VM®, and KVM. The advanced capabilities of these hypervisors contribute to the foundation of the typically high utilization achieved by IBM Z and IBM LinuxONE.

More performance from software with fewer servers. Enable 2.3x more containers per core on an IBM z15 LPAR compared to a bare metal1 x86 platform running an identical web server load, and co-locate cloud-native apps with z/OS and Linux virtual machine-based apps and enterprise data to exploit low-latency API connections to business-critical data. This translates into having to use fewer IBM Z and IBM LinuxONE cores to run an equivalent set of applications at comparable throughput levels than on competing platforms.

Co-location of cloud-native applications and mission-critical data. IBM Z and IBM LinuxONE house your enterprise’s mission-critical data. Running Red Hat OpenShift in logical partition adjacent to your z/OS® partitions provides low-latency secure communication to your enterprise data via IBM z/OS Cloud Broker. This provides superior performance due to fewer network hops. It also allows for highly secure communication between your new cloud-native apps and your enterprise data stores since network traffic never has to leave the physical server.

Proven security and resiliency. Utilize the most reliable mainstream server platform — with the only hypervisor among its major competitors — that is certified at the highest level of EAL5+.

For more guidance along your enterprise application modernization journey, check out our field guide.

>> Get the field guide to app modernization on IBM Z and LinuxONE.

1Performance results based on IBM internal tests running dockerized NGINX web server in a z15 native LPAR compared to running them bare-metal on a compared x86 platform. Results may vary. z15 configuration: LPAR with 2 dedicated IFLs, 32 GB memory, 40 GB DASD storage, SLES 12 SP4 (SMT mode) running Docker 18.09.6 and NGINX 1.15.9. x86 configuration: 2 Intel® Xeon® Gold 6140 CPU @ 2.30 GHz with Hyperthreading turned on, 32 GB memory, 40 GB RAID5 local SSD storage, SLES12 SP4 running Docker 18.09.6 and NGINX 1.15.9.