European datacenter chooses Linux on the mainframe

January 29, 2003

Integration of Linux-based applications with traditional IT reduces systems management-effort and solves back-up-requests

Niederrhein, Germany

The communal datacenter Niederrhein (Kommunales Rechenzentrum Niederrhein KRZN), a public sector data center serving more than 40 municipalities in the northwestern section of Germany, announced today it has chosen Linux and IBM mainframes (zSeries) to keep systems management costs low, consolidate servers and still offer high availability and investment protection for future applications.

"We have had very good experiences over decades with the stability and security of the mainframe," said Oliver Kamp, director for IT systems technology OS/390 and AIX SP at KRZN. "The integration of the mainframe platform with new applications under linux and the perspective to use this powerful combination in the area of web-services offers us the opportunity to position ourselves as an innovative service provider in the public sector IT services market."

Linux had been used at KRZN on PC servers - especially in the backup field -- but when KRZN needed a consolidated solution they chose to put the linux applications from the PC servers to the mainframe. This enabled KRZN to offer mainframe availability -- with new applications -- at dramatically reduced systems management costs. KRZN uses the SuSE Linux Enterprise Server for zSeries.

"The classical IBM mainframe has seen a continuous development in its 40 years of history," said Kamp. "Its core values and features have never gone out of sight, but have been refined constantly. This is true especially for its extremely high availability, reached by a clever selection of high-value redundantly installed components."

At the moment, three linux systems are installed - one native in an LPAR and two under the hypervisor system z/VM. In the testing scenario, different projects were fulfilled, f.e. the web-hosted internet presence of the town of Rheinberg ( Furthermore, Websphere V4 for Linux has been installed for further tests.

Planned future steps are:

  • Running the productive KRZN DNS server under Linux zSeries
  • Installation of an OSA/Fast Ethernet adapter
  • Hosting the web-offers of the served communities(ca. 60 towns)under zSeries
  • Static and dynamic Lotus Domino offerings
  • Operation of a production News server, a service with enormous high storage capacity need.

About the KRZN

The "Kommunale Rechenzentrum Niederrhein (KRZN)" is a congregated publick datacenter of the counties Dinslaken, Geldern, Kempen-Krefeld, Kleve,Moers and Rees. It was founded July 1, 1971. 38 Towns and communities are connected to the KRZN by public contracts - in total 42 communal administration authorities are users of the KRZN. It is the mission of the KRZN, to develop or deliver technology based IT for its members and users and to support the users in the preparation and use of the use of IT effectively. .In addition, KRZN has been active in the services market as service provider and partner for mainframe services, mainly in the public sector.

About IBM

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