What is server virtualization?

Server virtualization is the optimization of an IT infrastructure through the creation of a virtual instance of an operating system on a virtual platform, thus reducing the need for more physical servers.

Why virtualize on IBM Z?

Enable more VMs on a single system with legendary scalability, system management, and complete confidence in security, compliance, and performance.


Get up to 7 times better performance per core on IBM Z vs. x86.


Improve workload performance 4.8 times with extra z/VM® memory.

Virtualization cookbook for IBM Z: KVM

What IBM Z offers: An enterprise server for virtualization

IBM Z offers built-in virtualization capabilities with supporting operating systems, hypervisors, and available virtual appliances.

Virtualization on IBM Z and IBM LinuxONE allows you to inherit the unique advantages of IBM z/Architecture® – including isolation, system integrity, workload management, cyber resiliency, and security.

Virtualization technologies


This leading hypervisor for the mainframe can run thousands of Linux® on Z virtual machines on one system – and can also run z/OS®, z/VSE® and z/TPF. IBM z/VM’s reliability, performance, system management and security offer a strong foundation for all of your applications.

KVM on Z

Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) is an open source hypervisor, and is available with the Linux distributions for IBM Z. IBM provides KVM enablement for IBM Z to exploit the IBM Z architecture for scalability, performance, security, and resilience.

DPM on Z

Dynamic Partition Manager (DPM) is a configuration manager, designed to set up and manage Linux servers in a partition on IBM Z. A partition is a virtual representation of all of the physical hardware resources of the IBM Z system.

Explore the benefits of mainframe virtualization

Protect your data and customers

Boost protection with the highest security classification for LPAR technology. Gain high-speed encryption technology.

Gain resiliency and always-on availability

Aid disaster recovery, isolate workloads, and experience up to 99.99999%* availability on IBM z15.

Scale up and out quickly

Run thousands of virtual servers on one system, consolidate workloads, and redistribute resources dynamically.

Lower operational costs

Ease maintenance, reduce floor space, lower energy consumption, and keep software costs low.

Hear from customers

Supreme Court of Virginia

z/VM is key to the efficiency of the IT operations.

Vitec AutoData

Gives clients easier access to critical services while cutting its own TCO.

California DMV

Uses a three-times-faster solution to handle surges in demand.

Get training


Explore the IBM Skills Gateway.

Virtual training series

Listen to videos on z/VM, KVM and Linux on Z topics.

Sharpen your expertise

Join technical sessions delivered by IBM developers and experts.

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Reduce costs and complexity

Centralize management to unify mixed environments and uncover hidden capacity.

Cloud virtual servers

Public, dedicated virtual servers that provision and scale on demand, with monthly and hourly billing options.


Deploy superior virtualization solutions for AIX, Linux and IBM i clients.


*99.99999% disclaimer: Internal data based on measurements and projections was used in calculating the expected value. The z15 servers must be configured in a parallel sysplex using z/OS 2.3 or above; GDPS management of data and middleware recovery across Metro distance systems and storage, including GDPS Metro Multi-site Workload and GDPS Continuous Availability; and DS888X with IBM HyperSwap. Necessary resiliency technology must be enabled, such as System Managed CF Structure Duplexing, Sysplex failure management and Capacity Provisioning Manager. Other configurations may provide different availability characteristics.