Power Couple: Pairing z Systems with Linux can Bolster Business

By: Megan Oster

Peek into the board room of many top tier companies these days, and you may spot the presence of Linux.

Linux application deployments rose over the course of four years – from 65 percent to 79 percent – while Windows deployment fell from 45 percent to 36 percent, according to a 2014 report from The Linux Foundation.

Respondents to the invite-only survey included Bank of America, MetLife, NTT, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, DreamWorks, ADP, Bank of New York, NYSE, NASDAQ, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Goodrich, Morgan Stanley and AIG. The survey was limited to companies with sales of $500 million or more and included The Linux Foundation's Enterprise End User Council.

Linux rules cloud. 75 percent of enterprises surveyed identified Linux as their primary cloud platform, with just 24 percent using Windows and less than two percent using Unix.

A security leader. Linux fared well among respondents as a secure solution as well, with 78 percent voicing their belief that it is more secure than most other operating systems.

Most popular. More than 87 percent of enterprises running Linux added Linux servers in 2014, and 82 percent plan to add more this year.

And running Linux as a guest of z/VM has a number of distinctly modern benefits for users, including the following:

  • z/VM offers an ideal platform for consolidating select UNIX™, Windows™, and Linux applications to run on a virtual Linux instance , allowing users to run hundreds to thousands of Linux images.
  • Users can share resources such as CPU cycles, memory, storage devices and network adapters among multiple Linux images running on the same z/VM system.
  • The virtual machine environment is adaptable and flexible, easing the process of server replication and providing a highly flexible test environment.
  • z/VM provides high-performance communication among virtual machines running Linux and other operating systems such as z/OS, on the same processor.
  • Linux on z Systems includes a minidisk device driver that can access all DASD types supported by z/VM.
  • Users can achieve data-in-memory performance boosts through exploitation of the z/Architecture.

z system users who wish to take advantage of these capabilities have growing support among business leadership. A favorable view of Linux among executives has contributed significantly to the aforementioned ascent of adoption rates. Of the executive suite, 95 percent to 97 percent have considered the platform an important strategic resource for the organization each year The Linux Foundation has conducted the survey.

So, why has Linux become the “must-have” among top tier organizations? According to the survey, the three top drivers were its feature set, security and lower TCO.

Regardless of the reasons, this trend indicates a need for z system users to remain knowledgeable about the latest developments affecting the new industry leader, Linux, and how they can leverage them to gain even greater return on investment from their IBM system z.

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