Informatics Innovation Center Success Story

The Informatics Innovation Center (IIC) at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) wanted to educate more students in mainframe technology to improve their skills and unlock more opportunities in the job market. With SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for z Systems and LinuxONE, the IIC made the mainframe platform more accessible and attractive to students. Easy-to-use management tools and compatibility with most modern software packages help students get quick results on the highly reliable IBM z Systems platform.

The Challenge

The IIC wanted to teach students more about the IBM z Systems platform to broaden their skill set, sharpen their profile and boost employability. Prof. Dr. Ralf Reussner, chair of the Software Design and Quality Group at the Institute for Programme Structures and Data Organisation at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and Executive at the IIC said, "We noticed that many students did not know much about mainframe concepts, despite the need for mainframe experts, especially in the financial services industry."

The university wanted to lower the barriers to mainframe technology, in order to get more students on board to learn about this ultra-reliable platform. "We looked for a modern approach to the mainframe architecture that would help students get started faster and discover the unique features and advantages of the platform," said Reussner.

SUSE Solution

IIC teamed with SUSE and decided to offer entry-level courses on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for z Systems and LinuxONE. Students can choose to work with SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for z Systems and LinuxONE to take advantage of the IBM z Systems server with four Integrated Facility for Linux (IFL) specialty engines that are optimised for Linux workloads.

"Working with SUSE helped us to make more students aware of the potentials of the mainframe platform," said Reussner.

To manage its SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for z Systems and LinuxONE instances efficiently and automate labour-intensive configuration tasks, IIC implemented SUSE Studio™.

"Thanks to simple deployment processes facilitated by SUSE Studio, we can use IBM z Systems as a very efficient cloud platform for student and research projects," said Reussner. "This helps keep complexity and costs down, while giving students a unique opportunity to experience the capabilities of the IBM z Systems platform."

The IBM z Systems platform offers easy scalability, enabling system administrators to adjust the processor capacity dynamically, scaling resource allocations up and down as required without any downtime.

SUSE invests in the future of students and mainframe education not only by providing subscriptions and first-class support, the company also actively contributes to the teaching at IIC. "At least once a year, we invite SUSE to talk about SUSE Linux Enterprise for z Systems, so they can share their knowledge and latest advances on the mainframe with our students," said Reussner.

The Results

SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for z Systems and LinuxONE has enabled students to make rapid progress on the mainframe, substantially easing the otherwise steep learning curve. "Offering SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for z Systems and LinuxONE for seminars has definitely helped to boost the acceptance of the mainframe platform among students," said Reussner.

"SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for z Systems and LinuxONE works just like any other Linux, so it was easy for students to pick up."

With easy-to-use management and configuration tools, such as YaST® for simplified system administration, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for z Systems and LinuxONE provides a much more user-friendly environment than traditional mainframe operating systems.

Running future-proof SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for z Systems and LinuxONE also unlocks interoperability with most Linux applications, facilitating migrations to this high-availability platform. "SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for z Systems and LinuxONE brings the latest tools and software to the mainframe, helping us to develop near-zero downtime applications that benefit from the mature and reliable IBM z Systems platform," said Reussner.

SUSE Linux Enterprise Server offers the core advantages of the mainframe at a fraction of the costs of traditional mainframe software. This combination of hardware and operating system helps keep licensing costs down by leveraging powerful IFL specialty engines.

"We are very satisfied with the excellent collaboration with SUSE and the great support we receive for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for z Systems and LinuxONE," said Reussner.

"Teaching the use of Linux on the mainframe helps companies find qualified employees and boosts the employability of our graduates. To spread the word about the IBM z Systems platform further, we are always looking for industry partners to show our students more real-world examples and to showcase the broad range of job opportunities for mainframe experts."

At a Glance

Informatics Innovation Center is a cooperation center at the leading Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) which aims to promote the IBM z Systems platform and its relevance in industry and science.

Industry

Education

Location

Germany

Results
  • Boosted acceptance of mainframe platform among students
  • Increased efficiency with modern management and configuration tools
  • Provided compatibility with many state-of- the-art software packages
"Offering SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for z Systems for seminars has definitely helped to boost the acceptance of the mainframe platform among students."
PROF. DR. RALF REUSSNER
Executive
Informatics Innovation Center
About

The Informatics Innovation Center (IIC) is a cooperation between the Software Design and Quality Group at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) Department of Informatics, FZI Research Center for Information Technology and IBM Research & Development. KIT Department of Informatics is a leading institution in computer science and one of the largest of its kind in Europe. It is consistently placed at the top of national and international university rankings.

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