z/VM overview

z/VM® virtualization technology is designed to run hundreds to thousands of guest servers on a single IBM Z® server (where guests may include Linux® and others) or IBM® LinuxONE server (where only Linux and z/VM guests are supported), with the highest degrees of efficiency and elasticity.

The ability of z/VM to support multiple machine images and architectures provides a highly flexible production and test environment for IBM Z and LinuxONE operating systems to:
  • Simplify migration from one release to another
  • Facilitate the transition to newer applications
  • Provide a test environment whenever one is needed
  • Consolidate many systems onto one physical server

A fundamental strength of z/VM is the ability for virtual machines to share system resources with very high levels of resource utilization. z/VM provides extreme scalability, security, and efficiency to create opportunities for cost savings, while providing a robust foundation for cognitive computing on the IBM Z and LinuxONE platforms.

z/VM provides support for IBM Z and LinuxONE servers, as well as Red Hat®, SUSE, and Ubuntu Linux distributions. Support for simultaneous multithreading (SMT) technology extends per-processor, core capacity growth beyond single-thread performance for Linux on IBM Z running on an IBM Integrated Facility for Linux (IFL) specialty engine on an IBM Z or LinuxONE server. z/VM multithreading technology support, along with 4TB real memory support, can enable additional price/performance benefits over previous hardware generations and can meet workload requirements transparently. Improvements made in the areas of reliability, availability, and serviceability allow low-end devices such as IBM Storwize® V7000, V840, and V9000 to be attached to a z/VM host, removing the need for a SAN Volume Controller.

z/VM is a supported environment using IBM Dynamic Partition Manager for Linux-only systems with SCSI or ECKD storage. This simplifies system administration tasks for a more positive experience by those with limited mainframe skills.

z/VM can help you extend the business value of IBM Z and LinuxONE technology across the enterprise by integrating applications and data, while providing exceptional levels of availability, security, and operational ease. World-class virtualization technology offered by z/VM can provide the ability to host a large number of virtual servers running different operating systems on IBM Z servers or a large number of virtual Linux servers on LinuxONE servers.

While cloud computing has become the standard use model for IT services, an IT infrastructure continues to be the foundation for every IT service. Realizing the benefits of cloud computing requires an infrastructure that delivers availability, reliability, security, and performance, while also providing strong virtualization technology, such as z/VM.

Virtualization is fundamental to delivering infrastructure as a service (IaaS), the basic building block for cloud. IBM continues to invest in z/VM technology to provide leading-edge virtualization capabilities for enterprises using IBM Z and IBM LinuxONE platforms. This technology has evolved to meet the needs of IT organizations, delivering the foundation for user satisfaction on two types of workloads:
  • New container implementations using Red Hat OpenShift® Container Platform and IBM Cloud® Paks for Linux on IBM Z and IBM LinuxONE
  • Traditional monolithic workloads

IBM Cloud Infrastructure Center

IBM Cloud Infrastructure Center is an infrastructure management offering, built on OpenStack compatible APIs, that provides on-premises cloud deployments of z/VM Linux virtual machines on the IBM Z and LinuxONE platforms and the integration to higher-level cloud automation tools, such as IBM Cloud Automation Manager or VMware vRealize Automation and vRealize Orchestrator.

IBM Cloud Infrastructure Center provides a consistent, industry-standard user experience to define, instantiate, and manage the lifecycle of virtual infrastructure, deployment of images (operating system and applications), and policies to maximize resource utilization. It is built to require no specific platform skills from the user and minimal platform skills from the administrator to accelerate cloud deployments.

For additional information, see IBM Cloud Infrastructure Center.