Top Choice of Businesses for Linux on z Systems

SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for System z helps you achieve greater ROI, uptime and performance from Linux on the mainframe with these features:

New in Service Pack 1 (SP1)

  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for System z 12 SP1 lets organizations take advantage of the latest technical advances in the best-engineered, most-interoperable Linux platform for IBM z Systems. Enhancements include improved virtualization support and management technologies, new hardware support, and new features in networking, storage and security technologies. More >

Architecture Level Set

  • To make sure you get the most out of your environment and ensure you benefit from the latest hardware innovation, we performed an Architecture Level Set (ALS) that provides state-of-the-art z Systems processor hardware exploitation for IBM z196, z114, zBC12, zEC12, and z13. This means a much faster Linux system with an enhanced compiler and toolchain to help boost your application performance.

New Core Technologies

  • Wicked With Wicked, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server introduces a modern, dynamic network configuration infrastructure designed to overcome the limits and complexity of traditional network configuration. It combines a service daemon with dbus integration and a plug-in framework; the option to store configurations persistently; and interfaces to import existing the script-based static configurations of major Linux distributions.
  • GRUB2 GRUB2 is the SUSE Linux Enterprise 12 boot loader. A boot loader is responsible for loading and transferring control to the operating system kernel, which initializes the rest of the OS. GRUB2 offers advantages such as the use of modules which you can load separately per your requirements. GRUB2 also recognizes many more file systems.
  • Systemd is a new system and service manager designed for Linux. Systemd makes the boot process much simpler, as it automatically handles dependencies. What's more, it monitors the started services with the ability to restart crashed services. System can manage the entire boot process, and allows starting services in parallel, meaning work can be done concurrently at system startup This results in much faster system boot times.

Integrated Facility for Linux

  • An IFL is a specialized processor from IBM that handles multiple Linux workloads. If you use an IFL, you can buy a single software license and share it across many Linux virtual machines. Because you are charged for only one processor license, running Linux workloads on an IFL doesn't result in increased IBM software charges for traditional z Systems operating systems and middleware. Best of all, IFLs let you avoid buying additional, more expensive central processors for z Systems.

Server Virtualization

  • IBM z/VM By running SUSE Linux Enterprise Server on the z/VM hypervisor on IBM z Systems mainframes, you can create several virtual machines that run on a single processor and handle multiple workloads. This lets you reduce or eliminate the need to buy more hardware and lets you consolidate physical systems, shrinking your data center footprint and simplifying maintenance for your IT staff.
  • Support for KVM for IBM z Systems: Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) is a Linux kernel infrastructure virtualization solution for x86 hardware, and for the IBM POWER and IBM z Systems architectures. KVM for IBM z Systems provides open source virtualization for the IBM mainframe. Using the combination of KVM virtualization and IBM z Systems, you have the performance and flexibility to address the requirements of multiple, differing Linux workloads. To make sure our mutual customers get the best integrated Linux-based virtualization solution for IBM z Systems, SUSE is closely collaborating with IBM on its KVM for IBM z Systems technology. More >
  • Support for Docker Container Technology: Containers are a virtual environment within the Linux OS instance. Containers have similar resource isolation and allocation benefits as virtual machines but a different architectural approach allows them to be very portable and flexible. Docker is a specific implementation of a container solution. It is a powerful tool to build, modify, deploy, run, and manage containers. It comes with an extreme focus on efficiency and fast response times. With SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for System z 12 SP1, we ship the foundation for the support of Docker container technology on IBM z Systems. More >

Efficient System Management

  • Common code base The versions (and source code) of all core packages of the SUSE Linux Enterprise product family are the same, from the desktop to the mainframe. Our internal Build Service, unique to SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, automatically builds Linux distributions. As a result, the common code base guarantees the product is consistent. This lets you leverage your IT staff's skills, and provides the highest code quality, better supportability and preemptive code maintenance.
  • Superior package management with ZYpp Managing package installations and dependencies can be an administrative nightmare. SUSE Linux Enterprise Server includes ZYpp, the fastest update stack available on any enterprise distribution. SUSE has optimized ZYpp for performance and accuracy, and it is more feature-rich than tools such as Yum and Smart.
  • YaST and AutoYaST YaST offers a user-friendly environment to install, configure and manage each aspect of your systems, both at install time and post-installation. AutoYaST enables automatic and remote systems configuration and mass-deployment.
  • Starter System The SUSE Linux Enterprise Starter System for System z is a prebuilt installation server. It makes deploying a pilot system easy by eliminating the need for a separate system to host the installation files. Additionally, this tool ensures you won't need network connectivity outside the mainframe to install your Linux servers. More >

Advanced Security Features

  • AppArmor Developed by SUSE, AppArmor® is an effective, easy-to-use security framework for Linux. It proactively protects the operating system and applications from external and internal threats and zero-day attacks. AppArmor lets you secure even the most complex applications in just hours.
  • Integration with other security products SUSE offers integration with standard mainframe security through the Identity Manager Integration Module for Mainframes, which connects to RACF, ACF2 and Top Secret.
  • Cryptography SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for System z 12 supports the latest z Systems hardware based PKCS #11 cryptographic cards. PKCS #11 is part of the Public-Key Cryptography Standards, and is widely used for access smart cards and in hardware security models. You can easily set-up this crypto hardware stack on z Systems using a new install pattern in YaST during installation.

High Availability

  • SUSE Linux Enterprise High Availability Extension SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for System z is the only operating system for mainframes that includes advanced high availability Linux services with every subscription—all for free. The SUSE Linux Enterprise High Availability Extension offers you a clustered file system for Linux on z Systems, and delivers all the essential monitoring, messaging and cluster resource management features in an integrated suite of open source technologies. More >
  • Geo clusteringNeed maximum protection? Geo Clustering for SUSE Linux Enterprise High Availability Extension is provided as an add-on for z Systems. More >

RAS Capabilities

  • PCHID mapping PCHID mapping helps you determine the physical channel-ID (PCHID) associated with a channel path identifier (CHPID). The ability to map CHPID to PCHID values results in advanced error determination and faster problem resolution.
  • Concurrent Flash MCL updates SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for System z 12 includes kernel support for concurrent Flash MCL (microcode level) updates to Flash storage media during operation. You can apply these upgrades without impacting I/O operations to the flash storage media, and you get notified of the changed Flash hardware service level.
  • Disk mirroring Disk mirroring with real-time enhancement for z Systems improves storage operation by enabling uninterrupted operation even in case of a temporary DS8000/ESS failure or timeout, and thus provides better service availability.
  • Dump to zfcp/SCSI Partition With the function Dump to zfcp/SCSI Partition, the SCSI dump tool writes dumps directly to a SCSI partition, without using a file system. The option zipl -d is used for both DASD and SCSI stand-alone dumps. You can also now install the SCSI dump tool on multipath devices.

Increased Operational Efficiency and Performance

  • Improve performance of dasdfmt This feature improves the speed of DASD formatting processes (even if they run in parallel). With the increasing size of extended count key data direct access storage devices (ECKD DASDs), the speed of formatting may not be sufficient anymore. In addition, you can specify the number of cylinders to be formatted in one step. This lowers administration time and effort, and supports growth with larger future DASDs.
  • Query OSA Address Table Query OSA Address Table allows for ongoing refinement based on customer feedback for better network and adapter management, and provides a kernel and s390-tools infrastructure to gather and display OSA and TCP/IP configuration information via the "OSA Query Address Table" hardware function.
  • Support for transparent large pages Support for transparent large pages provides performance improvements for applications that access large amounts of anonymous memory, such as heap space for Java programs or caching areas for databases.
  • Multiple netiucv paths This feature lets you establish multiple netiucv connections between the same two z/VM guests, by using IUCV user data (in addition to the VM user ID) to identify a network interface. This results in better scalability for z/VM Linux data exchange and improved performance.
  • QSAM Access Method for Data sharing with z/OS This feature enhances the functionality of the s390-tools to allow a Linux system to directly access z/OS legacy data on DASD storage devices. Stage one consists of non-concurrent access, that is, Linux access to z/OS data occurs regardless of z/OS processing. By avoiding FTP or NFS transfer of data from z/OS, this feature significantly reduces the turnaround time for batch processing.
  • Optimized Compression Library zlib Compression requires significant processor resources. Using an optimized version of zlib significantly improves performance and lowers processor resource consumption for applications using the respective library.
  • Support for zPXE Boot zPXE boot provides a similar function to PXE boot on x86 and x86-64. It gives you a parameter-driven executable, a retrieving installation source and instance-specific parameters. This means the system can automatically download the respective kernel, initrd and parameter files for that instance and start an installation.

World-Class Support from SUSE

  • SUSE has almost 25 years of experience and support centers covering every region of the world. Because SUSE has long been involved in integrating its solutions with those of other vendors, our technical support personnel can tackle the toughest problems—at any scale and on any platform or combination of platforms. With regard to z Systems, our more than 15 years of technology expertise and our close collaboration with IBM give you the assurance that we have your back—anytime!
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