Q: What are the benefits of z/OS Container Extensions?
A: z/OS Container Extensions expands and modernizes the software ecosystem for z/OS to include Linux on Z applications. Most applications (including Systems Management components and development utilities/tools) that are currently only available to run on Linux will be able to run on z/OS as Docker containers.
Linux on Z applications can run on z/OS, using existing z/OS operations staff and reusing the existing z/OS environment.
z/OS Container Extensions runs Linux on Z applications on z/OS while maintaining operational control within z/OS and z/OS Qualities of Service (scalability, availability, integrated disaster recovery, backup, WLM, and integration with z/OS security.
Q: Do application developers require knowledge of z/OS to create and deploy Linux on Z applications to run in z/OS Container Extensions?
A: Applications will look like Docker applications to the developer, not z/OS applications. If your application comes from Linux on Z, then no z/OS skills are required. Docker and Linux knowledge is all that is required.
Q: Does Container Extensions make use of Kubernetes?
A: No, not at this time.The initial release of IBM z/OS Container Extensions for IBM z/OS V2.4 is intended to provide Docker Swarm as support for Docker cluster management. IBM’s future plans intend to leverage kubernetes clustering for the orchestration, scalability, and management of z/OS Container Extensions with compatible cloud platforms.
Q: How is Container Extensions different from Linux on Z?
A: z/OS Container Extensions gives z/OS environments the ability to deploy Linux on Z applications as Docker Containers for workloads with an affinity to z/OS. It is not a replacement for traditional Linux on Z environments.
If you are a client with Linux on Z installations, you will continue to run those installations. If you are a z/OS client that used to, but no longer has a Linux on Z installation, you should consider z/OS Container Extensions. If you are a z/OS client that has never had a Linux on Z installation, then z/OS Container Extensions is a low effort way to try Linux on Z.
Q: What can run in z/OS Container Extensions?
A: Anything with s390x architecture (the IBM Z opcode set) in Docker hub can be run in z/OS Container Extensions. The code is binary compatible between Linux on Z and Container Extensions.
In addition to open source packages, IBM plans to have IBM and third-party software available at the GA of z/OS 2.4. It is intended that clients will be able to participate with their own Linux applications, which can easily be packaged in Docker format and deployed in the same as open source IBM and vendor packages.
Q: How will IBM software running in the z/OS Container Extensions environment be licensed and priced?
A: IBM software is planned to be licensed and priced as it is in the Linux on Z offering.
Additional resources and documentation for z/OS Container Extensions will be available on this page as they are released.
For now, learn about Containers, Docker, and z/OSMF using the links below.