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SUSE now provides full support for KVM as part of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 SP2 for z Systems and LinuxONE.

SUSE KVM and full support for it is available now, and provided as part of existing and new SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for z Systems and LinuxONE subscriptions with no additional charge.

What is KVM?

Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) is an innovative full virtualization solution for Linux. It consists of a loadable kernel module that provides the core virtualization infrastructure and a processor specific module. Using KVM, you can run multiple virtual machines running unmodified operating system images. Each virtual machine has private virtualized hardware: a network card, disk, graphics adapter, etc.

Innovation is a key driver for SUSE, and the goal of SUSE is to provide you with more choice and flexibility. SUSE steadily invests in virtualization as a critical area of innovation: Since the release of version 11 Service Pack 3, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for z Systems and LinuxONE had included KVM as a technical preview, in addition to the support of IBM's virtualization technology z/VM.

If you have focused on different technologies than z Systems and the z/VM virtualization technology in the past, but if you are a skilled x86 Linux administrator today, running KVM on z Systems allows you to easily explore the potential of Linux on the mainframe and virtualization separate from other workload environments on the same system. You can create and manage virtual machines by yourself, assign resources, and use workload isolation and protection capabilities, so you can get all the flexibility of KVM-based virtual machines with the same tools and commands you know from your x86-based environment, backed by the z System hardware.

To make sure our mutual customers get the best integrated Linux-based virtualization solution for IBM z Systems, SUSE is fading out the KVM Technical Preview included with SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for z Systems and LinuxONE with future releases, and is closely collaborating with IBM on its KVM for IBM z Systems technology.

As an alternative to SUSE KVM, with KVM for IBM z Systems, IT organizations can unleash the power of KVM technology to improve productivity, and simplify administration and management for a quick start on their journey to a highly virtualized environment on IBM z Systems. KVM for IBM z Systems is optimized to exploit the z Systems architecture for scalability, performance, security, and resiliency, and provides standard Linux and KVM interfaces for simplified operational control of the environment. Note, however, that IBM has announced the EOS for KVM for IBM z Systems in March 2018. SUSE offers support for the SUSE KVM available as part of SLES as well as IBM KVM.

As SUSE goes forward, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for z Systems and LinuxONE will continue to be equally supported on LPAR (PR/SM), z/VM, and KVM, offering true choice for optimized workload deployment. KVM from SUSE for IBM z Systems and LinuxONE offers enterprises an open source solution while taking advantage of the robust scalability, reliability, and security that is inherent to z Systems.

History

IBM and SUSE have been working together for more than 20 years developing solutions for organizations worldwide. SUSE was the first to develop Linux on the mainframe platform and continues to this day in leading the market with innovations and adoptions of technologies for the IBM customer.

Today's systems must be able to scale up and scale out, not only in terms of performance and size, but also in functions. Virtualization is a core enabler of system capability, but open source and standards are key to making virtualization effective. KVM is an open source virtualization technology that uses common Linux-based tools and interfaces.

KVM has been available as part of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for IBM z Systems and LinuxONE as a technology preview for many years. Due to KVM's strategic importance, along with growing adoption among IBM z Systems and LinuxONE customers, SUSE now provides full support of KVM within SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for IBM z Systems and LinuxONE.

SUSE is defining a clear path for current and future customers to obtain full SUSE support and access to SUSE expertise when using KVM included with SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for IBM z Systems and LinuxONE 12 SP2 and future versions. IBM announced in March 2017 their intent to discontinue marketing and support of their KVM for IBM z Systems product. IBM will continue to provide architecture and hardware specific contributions upstream to enable KVM core capabilities. SUSE continues our development and support for KVM within SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for IBM z Systems and LinuxONE with version 12 SP2 and future versions.