Network Computing is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IBM Expands Virtual Machines On The Mainframe

IBM, originator of computer virtualization, is upgrading the ability of virtualization to scale up on its z9 Series mainframes.

That's important, says a user at Marist College, because the school is relying on more virtual machines on its mainframe to supply computer science students with the environments they need. It is currently running 600 Linux virtual machines for students on its z9. Its two mainframes, an older z990 as well as a z9, manage both academic and administrative workloads.

"Students can have one virtual machine running Apache, another running MySQL, and do work with both," says Martha McConaghy, strategic planner and project manager for the college. "What they've done is expand the boundaries for virtualization on the mainframe past what they've traditionally been."

The college started using Linux on the mainframe in 2000 when the school served "as a test bed" for the concept. Five years ago, it ran a dozen Linux virtual machines on its mainframe.

The z9 with the 5.3 release of its z/VM operating system can now run virtual machines on 32 CPUs, instead of the previous maximum of 24 CPUs. The z9 comes in versions with 1-54 CPUs.

The z/VM operating system also can create a virtual machine that uses up to 128 Gbytes of memory, or apply z/VM's abilities to manage memory for a set of virtual machines to a chunk that large. That allows z/VM to give its guest virtual machines more memory as their workload increases.

  • 1