Mainframe Virtualization, an Alternative for Open Systems?

Mainframe Virtualization, an Alternative for Open Systems?

November 11, 2009 0 Comments

In this podcast Gregg Willhoit explains his thoughts on mainframe virtualization as an alternative for open systems. The podcast last for 2:13.

You may listen here:

Gregg Willhoit:

It’s really interesting these days to see people migrating off of non-mainframe platforms to the mainframe. I know a lot of the naysayers of the mainframe back in the ‘80s and ‘90s would be either rolling over in their grave or just really darn surprised about what’s going on. I think it really speaks to the quality of the platform. IBM deserves a lot of kudos for delivering such a reliable and manageable platform with great performance, and clearly a whole group of customers or possible customers is actually recognizing this fact, and there have been some interesting articles.

One in Network Computing, about, “Is Mainframe Virtualization An Alternative For Open System Shops?” and it basically talks about a company called Transzap with no mainframe computing experience whatsoever to move from a fairly significant multi-hardware Linux based computing environment to a mainframe zLinux environment with very little effort, with very significant benefits: increases in the ability to manage, the ability to grow. But one of the most interesting notes I remember from the article is that the gentleman that was speaking for Tranzap said that since the System z first went into production the box has never been rebooted, and since competition is really intense in the software as a service base, which is where this particular software vendor plays, they’re not losing any money at all. I mean, I think that’s just amazing. They haven’t had to deal with an outage of any kind since mainframe went into production. So I think that says a lot for IBM and the System z platform.

I’m sure that this is a portent of things like this to come, that we’ll see many, many more companies migrate to the zLinux, because it’s just -- architecturally it’s much more scalable, and it’s got virtualization down. I mean, virtualization’s been part of the hardware and the operating system since, well, forever. The mainframe’s just been doing this longer and better than these non-mainframe solutions. I hope to read about a lot more of these stories in the future.


(Photo credit: paulohrodrigues)

Gregg Willhoit

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