BLOG: Introducing z/VM 7.2 for IBM Z and LinuxONE

December 18th, 2020 BLOG: Introducing z/VM 7.2 for IBM Z and LinuxONE
Andy Hartman
Senior Consultant


With the new release of z/VM 7.2 hypervisor and virtualization technology for IBM Z and LinuxONE, IBM continues to make enhancements and improvements to manageability, maintenance, and the exploitation of new capabilities of the z15 and LinuxONE III hardware. z/VM 7.2 virtualization technology continues the concept of continuous small program enhancements (SPE) and a more structured release schedule, bringing it more in line with the IBM Z and LinuxONE hardware release schedules. Along with the ability to do upgrade-in-place maintenance to members of a z/VM Single System Image (SSI) cluster for the past several releases, z/VM 7.2 introduces the ability to manage single standalone z/VM instances outside of an SSI cluster, making the maintenance of all your z/VM instances manageable from a central location, regardless of location.


Red Hat OpenShift and IBM Cloud Paks

IBM z/VM 7.2 continues the long history of being the best hypervisor on the market to run diverse workloads needing extreme scalability, resource utilization, and security. z/VM is the hypervisor that allows you to deploy Red Hat OpenShift with IBM Cloud Paks on IBM Z and LinuxONE, enabling you to deploy your container workloads in a hybrid cloud environment. With Red Hat OpenShift, you get a state-of-the-art orchestration platform to run Kubernetes-based workloads. Think of it as an enterprise-class Kubernetes. IBM Cloud Paks run on top of Red Hat OpenShift and bring IBM middleware like DB2 and WebSphere as well as open source middleware like MongoDB and many others into an easy-to-deploy-and-manage setup that is all designed and tested to run efficiently, providing the best environment for your cloud-based applications.


New z/VM 7.2 Functionality

Starting with z/VM 7.1 and continuing with z/VM 7.2, new features are added on a continuous basis utilizing Small Programming Enhancements (SPE) and will be delivered as they become available for the current release. As the current release moves through its life cycle, it will receive cumulative service as well as Recommended Service Updates (RSUs) and towards the end will not receive any SPEs. This allows for a couple of efficient strategies around how you implement z/VM. If you need to take advantage of new features as they become available, then you can simply add these SPEs to your existing system. If you need a more consistent release, you can opt to just apply the corrective service and stay on a specific release for its entire supported life cycle and then upgrade to a newer release on a scheduled basis that fits your needs.

z/VM 7.2 can run on IBM z/13 and z/13s processors, which include the LinuxONE Emperor and Rockhopper systems all the way up to the z/15 and LinuxONE III class servers. Some of the more interesting features included with z/VM 7.2 are:

  • support for 80 logical partitions (LPARs) with a maximum of 64 logical processors in a single partition.
  • Vswitch Priority Queuing, which allows for setting priorities on different guests using virtual network cards.
  • multifactor authentication for z/VM when running an external security manager such as RACF.
  • no need for password entry for directory maintenance (DirMaint) commands.
  • support for z/15 Crypto Express7s adapter card and CP Assist for Cryptographic Functions (CPACF) performance improvements.
  • support for the z/15 data compression and deflate coprocessor.


Centralized Service Management

The Single System Image (SSI) feature included with z/VM 7.2 makes it possible to do live guest relocation (LGR) of Linux guests, allowing you to move workloads to other z/VM systems in the SSI cluster so you can keep your workloads up and running when you have to do maintenance. One of the other benefits of the SSI environment is the ability to do in-place upgrades when you set your system up on an SSI cluster. With z/VM 7.2, IBM has added the ability to do similar management of maintenance for non-SSI z/VM instances, regardless of where they are located within a datacenter or around the world. Centralized Service Management allows you to manage many different z/VM systems at different maintenance levels from a centralized location utilizing communications over TCP/IP.


Diverse Workloads and Capabilities Utilizing z/VM

One of z/VM’s biggest advantages is the ability to run many different types of workloads and operating systems while maintaining the highest utilization and security available in the industry. Along with Red Hat OpenShift and IBM Cloud Paks, z/VM supports running large installations utilizing traditional middleware like Oracle, WebSphere, DB2, and others running on Linux and other operating systems such as z/VSE, z/TPF, and z/OS.

Along with running many different types of workloads, z/VM can take advantage of different management and deployment products. If z/VM is to be deployed on a LinuxONE server, Dynamic Partition Manager (DPM) can be used to manage the z/VM partitions, allowing for a graphical-style management of your z/VM deployments. IBM Cloud Infrastructure Center (ICIC) allows you to deploy z/VM and Red Hat KVM-based Linux virtual machines while giving you the ability to monitor and manage these resources.


IBM z/VM Websites and Materials

Along with continuous delivery, IBM has made changes to its z/VM online websites and materials including this web page that lists the new features being worked on as well as new features that have been released and explanations of what these features will do. On this page you can also find information on how to become a sponsor user for a new feature, which will allow you to participate in the design review and possible testing. Find a more general overview of z/VM here and more detailed information here.

Get More Information
As a Platinum IBM business partner, Mainline has extensive experience with IBM mainframe systems and we can help you with z/VM and Linux on IBM Z and LinuxONE. To set up a more in-depth discussion about how to get started using these technologies, contact your Mainline Account Executive directly or click here to contact us with any questions.


Related Blogs and Videos:

BLOG: z/VM 7.1 and Continuous Delivery on IBM z and IBM LinuxOne

BLOG: Kubernetes and Red Hat OpenShift on IBM Z and LinuxONE

BLOG: Linux on IBM z15 and IBM LinuxONE III Mainframe Systems

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