Yildiz Technical University Logo
Industry: .edu & .gov
Location: Turkey
Download Full Story

Yildiz Technical University

Highlights

  • Made mainframe more accessible for students
  • Offered a stable teaching and administrative environment
  • Equipped students with marketable skills for their future careers
  • Reduced maintenance burden by up to a factor of 100

Products

To equip students with marketable skills, the Computer Engineering Faculty at YTU wanted to improve student access to its mainframe without costs spiraling. Selecting SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for z Systems and LinuxONE, the faculty gained a cost-effective, stable environment to support student training.

Overview

Yildiz Technical University (YTU) is based in Istanbul, Turkey and is one of the city's most prominent educational institutions. The Computer Engineering Faculty has 52 members of staff and around 500 students. It specializes in research in the fields of computer and sensor networks, network and system security, machine learning and artificial intelligence, data mining, robotics, embedded and mobile applications.

The Challenge

As the only university computing department in Turkey running an IBM mainframe, YTU's Computer Engineering Faculty wanted to make the most of this unique platform to maximize benefits for students. Recognizing that mainframe skills can enhance students' chances in today's competitive job market, the faculty set out to boost access to this environment.

Dr. Ali Gokhan Yavuz, a senior faculty member within the Computer Engineering Faculty at Yildiz Technical University, said, "The mainframe can be an intimidating prospect for those not used to it—for this very reason those skilled in the technology stand out from the crowd when entering the workplace. We recognized that our IBM z Systems environment was a valuable area to invest in, but needed to find a way to make it more accessible."

YTU sought to optimize its z Systems environment as an educational tool while maintaining low cost and management effort for the university.

Learning with SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for z Systems and LinuxONE gives our students a competitive edge in the job market and makes them highly attractive to future employers.

SUSE Solution

SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for z Systems and LinuxONE has now been at the heart of the Linux strategy at YTU's Computer Engineering Faculty for over a decade. The faculty hosts between 30 and 40 instances of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for z Systems and LinuxONE on IBM z/VM hypervisor software running on its IBM z Systems server, and relies on the solution to support both teaching environments and internal systems.

Dr. Yavuz said, "In contrast to other types of Linux that we tried—such as Red Hat, for example—SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for z Systems and LinuxONE continues to offer us exceptional stability. It is a common choice for teaching staff running courses for new students on topics such as building databases. It is also provides reliable support for our departmental email, spam filtering and other internal systems."

By selecting SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for z Systems and LinuxONE, YTU can benefit from access to online support communities as well as getting reliable support from a well-known vendor. "Readily available online resources complement official SUSE technical support, making it very easy to find solutions to any problems that might occur," said Dr. Yavuz.

SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for z Systems and LinuxONE is proving a valuable teaching resource, offering an ideal environment for development. The faculty utilized this operating system when developing an innovative student information system, which is now relied on by the university to enroll new students.

"We have experienced 100 percent availability in our work with SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for z Systems and LinuxONE—it has never crashed or failed," said Dr. Yavuz. "Because it offers the same interface regardless of the hardware it is running on, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for z Systems and LinuxONE is a good entry point for students who have never worked with the mainframe before."

The Results

Easing an otherwise steep learning curve, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for z Systems and LinuxONE is enhancing the accessibility of the mainframe at YTU. By equipping students with mainframe skills, the university is helping them succeed after graduation and boosting its own appeal as a place to study.

"The ease-of-use of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for z Systems and LinuxONE is helping us to boost acceptance of the mainframe platform among our students and to demonstrate the relevance of the solution for modern development," said Dr. Yavuz. "We can send our students out into the workplace with unique skills, and enhance the university's reputation by doing so."

With low maintenance and management requirements, the solution has a correspondingly low impact on the university's IT staff.

Dr. Yavuz said, "SUSE Linux Enterprise Server and IBM z Systems are designed to work together—and they do. We take advantage of tools released for SUSE Linux Enterprise, such as YaST® and AutoYaST, which have cut down the maintenance burden by up to a factor of 100 for the services that are run in SUSE's high availability cluster environment. With SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for z Systems and LinuxONE, we have gained a low-touch, ultra-stable operating system that is ideally suited for our students and internal requirements alike. We are confident that it will remain at the center of our Linux strategy for years to come."