Is it time for the Enterprise Linux Server?

IBM’s Z10 Enterprise Linux Server is an interesting alternative to a large-scale VMware deployment. Essentially, any Linux workload that is a good fit for being virtualised with Vmware is a good fit for being virtualised on Z10.

The original VM is of course an IBM Enterprise Server concept (System Z) and rumour has it that the Vmware developers started out as System Z VM developers.

So how do the two stack up? Well if you want/need/must-have Windows as the bulk of your OS infrastructure then Z10 is not for you. When it comes to distributed workloads, Z10 is Linux only (RH or SUSE).

Aside from that it’s going to be horses for courses. What is important is that we remain open-minded about technology and realise that it’s only there to solve a business problem, it’s not an end in itself or a fashion-statement. So the best way to solve a business problem is the best way to choose technology.

If you take a hypothetical hosting service with 5,000 web serving VMs, that could be deployed on a single Z10 system with all its robustness and security, low man-power requirements, small physical footprint and low power and cooling consumption, or it could be deployed on say 50 physical VMware servers and all of the licensing, power, cooling, complexity and manpower that a site like that would demand.

My point is not that every large virtual environment should be on Z10, but simply that it’s worth considering Z10, and any professional IT architect should be open to that possibility and educate themselves on that as an option. Let us not be captives to technology fashion.

And when it comes time to add Fibre Channel storage to your Z10, you get some nice options from IBM:

That adds up to  a story worth considering. For more info see Practical Migration to Linux on System z


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