Cost-effective way to move to hybrid cloud

IBM z Integrated Information Processor (zIIP) is a dedicated processor designed to operate asynchronously with the general processors in a mainframe to process new workloads; manage containers and hybrid cloud interfaces; facilitate system recovery; and assist with several types of analytics, systems monitoring and other applications.

zIIPs enable customers to exploit the legendary cyber resiliency, elasticity and scalability of IBM zSystems™ without affecting the million service unit (MSU) rating or the machine model designation that often influences software license charges.

IBM does not generally assess IBM software charges on zIIP capacity, except when additional general purpose CP capacity is used.

Engineer working on computer in server room with IBM z16

New zIIP support on the IBM z16

Accelerating AI deployments with strategic new zIIP support on the IBM z16™, provides a wide range of approaches to artificial intelligence (AI) development on the platform. To further enable these types of workloads, the zIIP eligibility list has been extended to include Python-based applications. This change will assist clients especially working in Python for AI to continue scaling up smoothly.

To make broader use of the zIIP specialty engine, starting with the IBM z16 family and newer IBM zSystems servers, the 2:1 to zIIP to Central Processor (CP) ratio requirement no longer applies.  This change allows clients to scale up workloads that exploit zIIPs, including IBM z/OS® Container Extensions (the ability to run Linux directly in IBM z/OS).


Move to hybrid cloud

Leverage z/OS Container Extensions, z/OS Connect, Java and Python on zIIPs to achieve faster time to value in hybrid cloud.

Accelerate digital transformation

Deploy new applications written in Java or Python, exploit XML or make use of RESTful APIs on zIIPs.

Improve system resilience

Add zIIPS to increase the capacity for System Recovery Boost to speed up shutdown, restart and workload catch-up.

Products and services that exploit zIIP include:

Hybrid cloud

You can use IBM zIIP engines to support IBM z/OS® Container Extensions (zCX), to deploy Linux® applications as Docker/OCI containers on IBM z/OS or to run Red Hat® OpenShift® on IBM z/OS as part of a IBM z/OS workload. zCX helps modernize your existing z/OS applications for hybrid clouds. Current and new applications can call native Linux microservices in Docker/OCI containers on IBM zSystems with minimal latency to deliver new, highly responsive capabilities and applications to your clients and users.

Digital transformation

Develop and run applications in popular languages such as Java™ on IBM z/OS, Python for IBM z/OS and others using zIIPs. This allows you to cost effectively include newer technologies in your application portfolio such as IBM WebSphere® Application Server and IBM z/OS Management Facility (z/OSMF) since all take advantage of zIIPs.

System resiliency

IBM zIIPs enable you to leverage the IBM System Recovery Boost function on an IBM z16™ or IBM z15™, significantly shortening the time to shut down and restart a system for planned and unplanned outages. IBM z/OS Communications Server exploits the zIIP for portions of internet protocol security (IPSec) network encryption and decryption, and for select HiperSockets™ large message traffic. IBM z/OS Global Mirror enables DFSMS™ System Data Mover processing for zIIP.

Database and AI

IBM Db2® for z/OS can exploit the zIIP capability for portions of eligible data serving, pure XML, utility workloads Java stored procedures. IBM Watson® Machine Learning for z/OS uses zIIP engines to bring AI to your transactional applications by offering an end-to-end machine learning platform that operationalizes predictive models. You can also deploy Apache Spark on IBM zIIPs to run analytics and machine learning on very large, complex data sets. IBM Data Virtualization Manager for IBM z/OS takes advantage of zIIPs to unify all databases and data stores for consistent, efficient streamlined data serving.

Other use cases

For clients who desire cost-effective XML parsing services on z/OS, z/OS XML System Services can exploit the zIIP for eligible XML workloads. Many other software vendors' products run on zIIPs. And IBM Consulting can enable the Scalable Architecture for Financial Reporting (SAFR also known as GenevaERS) reporting solution on IBM zIIP engines. Please refer to the IBM Authorized Use Table or zIIP Exploiter list (PDF, 179 KB) for IBM software products that can leverage IBM zIIPs.

Technical details

Technical specifications

IBM z/OS functions including PROJECTCPU help estimate current and projected zIIP usage.

Software requirements

  • All supported versions of IBM z/OS
  • IBM z/OS Container Extensions, System Recovery Boost and other software components may have additional requirements

Hardware requirements

zIIPs are available for in market IBM zSystems equipped with at least 1 CP (general purpose processor).