Informatics Innovation Center

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 System z, 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 System z platform.

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About Informatics Innovation Center

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.

Challenge

The IIC wanted to teach students more about the IBM System z 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 System z. Students can choose to work with SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for System z to take advantage of the IBM System z 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 System z 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 System z 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 System z platform.”

The IBM System z 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 System z, so they can share their knowledge and latest advances on the mainframe with our students,” said Reussner.

Results

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

“SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for System z 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 System z provides a much more user-friendly environment than traditional mainframe operating systems.

Running future-proof SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for System z also unlocks interoperability with most Linux applications, facilitating migrations to this high-availability platform. “SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for System z 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 System z 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 System z,” 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 System z 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.”

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INFORMATICS INNOVATION CENTER AT A GLANCE:

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

Industry:

Education

Location:

Germany

Europe

Products:

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 System z for seminars has definitely helped to boost the acceptance of the mainframe platform among students.”PROF. DR. RALF REUSSNERExecutive, Informatics Innovation Center

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