" The second big change that's coming with the zBX, according to Doris Conti, director of System z marketing at IBM, is that Microsoft's Windows operating system will be supported on the Xeon blade servers inside the zBX complex. IBM has hosted over 300 workshops with mainframe customers discussing the new hybrid system, and customers were not exactly happy that IBM was restricting Linux to Xeon blades and not supporting Windows.
"We heard the feedback and we very much intend to deliver Windows support on zBX," says Conti."
...and a little bit later.....
"You may be wondering why Windows and Linux support on the Xeon blades in the zBX didn't ship back in November with the Power-AIX blades. Jeffrey Frey, the IBM Fellow and System z architect who designed the zEnterprise 196-zBX hybrid, says that the Xeon blades are coming later because IBM's Power-AIX customers were the ones Big Blue felt would take to the hybrid computing model first. (IBM is also fixated on preserving its market share in the Unix racket against resurgent Oracle and HP.) The plan now is to get Linux support on Xeon blades out the door this year, and then add Windows support as soon as possible.
Frey said that IBM was not sure how deeply it would have to get into the operating system or hypervisor code to manage AIX, Linux, or Windows when it started the zBX. So AIX, which IBM has the source code for, and Linux, which is open source, were the easiest places to start. IBM didn't want to get involved with Windows until it knew what it might need from Microsoft in the way of cooperation. "As it turns out, there is very little of that," Frey explained to El Reg, referring to the need to get into Windows code to make the OS work on the hybrid system.
Frey also let the cat out of the bag on what hypervisor IBM is using on the blades. IBM's own Processor Resource/System Manage (PR/SM) type 1 hypervisor and its related z/VM operating system (which can function as a type 2 hypervisor) are used to dice and slice the zEnterprise 196. The company's own PowerVM hypervisor is used on the Power7 blades to carve them up into logical slices and to virtualize I/O on the blades. IBM has chosen a variant of Red Hat's Enterprise Virtualization (RHEV), the commercial-grade implementation of the KVM hypervisor for x64 iron, for the Xeon blades; this tweaked version is known as RHEV-Blue, predictably, and is made to cooperate with IBM's mainframe firmware. Power VM will support AIX 5.3, 6.1, and 7.1, and Conti says that if mainframe shops want to run the IBM i 7.1 operating system (formerly known as OS/400) on Power blades, IBM will consider it, says Conti. As for Linux on Power, Frey says there will be a need for it, but that Windows on Xeon blades is more important to get to market given the installed base of machines at mainframe shops. "
Responding to client feedback, there are no excuses now, just let the z196 and zBX flow across the datacenter like an amoeba ....... Read the article and think about it.