LinuxONE and Oracle: A perfect Marriage

November 2nd, 2016
Marianne Eggett
z Systems Solutions Consultant


Last summer the LinuxONE Emperor was announced with an open source fanfare. This past February, the smaller version of the LinuxONE server, the Rockhopper, was announced. Though the Open Source venue was targeted for these servers, they are not just for open source. They are ideal for proprietary software too, and let’s look at why.

Where does LinuxONE shine?
The laws of physics have impacted the ability to develop faster chips which led IBM to change their design. IBM took a proven technology from IBM Power systems and implemented Simultaneous Multi-Threading, or SMT1. SMT is not for every application workload. What workload bests capitalizes on the new technology on LinuxONE servers? Databases. And, what is the most predominant database on z Systems with Linux? Oracle. Shown through benchmarks, SMT boosts the capacity for Oracle transactional workload significantly. So, if anyone had looked at the business case prior to today, now, with LinuxONE, the case for Linux on Systems z is even better.

In an IBM benchmark using a Brokerage High Volume trading workload, there was a 9:1 consolidation between Oracle Exadata and a LinuxONE server when achieving the required SLA for performance (36 x86 cores to 3 IFLs). The Oracle software savings is 78%. When looking at the total TCO, LinuxONE is 56% cheaper.

Why Oracle on LinuxONE?
Many companies running Oracle face the challenge of ever-increasing demands for capacity. These companies look for a scalable solution, and LinuxONE is a leader in scalability. The Emperor can grow from 6 to 141 processors by adding one or more processors and its associated software at a time, thereby managing costs. For Exadata, scaling is from an 1/8 rack to ¼ rack to ½ rack to full RAC, or 36 to 72 to 144 to 288 cores. How hard is the LinuxONE processor installation? It is a simple non-disruptive microcode load. No database downtime is needed. Fast and easy.

Oracle supports high availability through RAC. This is a complex high availability solution. It requires skilled database administrators, with a complete understanding of the facility. If your company doesn’t have the skills, hiring consultants can be expensive. LinuxONE servers have a Mean-Time-to-Failure measured in decades – proving the LinuxONE has the highest availability of any server in the industry. Features designed with redundancy include spare cores where failover is transparent to the application, and RAIM memory with zero observable memory failures in 5 years. An ITIC survey shows LinuxONE with 0% unplanned system outage due to hardware. Compare this to x86 with 6-8%, ultimately driving companies to look at a RAC implementation.

This study also indicates that servers with 4, 5 or 6 years without upgrading “will experience significant increases of unplanned downtime.” All companies struggle with these upgrades, some with year-round projects consuming an enormous amount of time, resources and costs. Upgrading LinuxONE is a single planned upgrade event, enabling the hundreds or thousands of virtual servers upgraded to the latest technology over one short weekend. If your company cannot afford downtime on these servers, two LinuxONE servers resolves this challenge. The Single System Image (SSI) facility, using Live Guest Relocation (LGR), supports moving the virtual servers between LinuxONE servers. For even higher availability, SSI works across 12 miles enabling scheduled server, building or complex downtime. For companies needing zero downtime, IBM offers Geographically Dispersed Parallel Sysplex (GDPS) and Disk Metro Mirroring. Consider this, planning for the next generation of EXADATA means planning the movement of all Oracle nodes and the data to the next generation server!

Companies’ resources are their gold. Good, knowledgeable technical resources are in high demand and short supply. LinuxONE staffing costs can be significantly lower than x86. A study by Solitaire Interglobal LTD showed LinuxONE staffing levels 13 times less than x86. To help achieve this, the LinuxONE server comes with IBM Wave2 for daily systems management task, i.e monitoring and cloning, as well as an advanced recognition analytics product, for automated detection and notifications of server problems, zAware.

Security is critical in today’s IT industry. LinuxONE earned the Common Criteria EAL5+ security certification, an international standard in effect since 1999. Each core has its own cryptographic co-processor optimized for encryption functions. Optionally, a Crypto Express5S PCIe card adds Elliptic Curve, SHA3, Visa FPE and other crypto capabilities. Resource Access Control Facility (RACF) polices access to all resource, supports both cryptographic and digital certificate services, and is integrated into LinuxONE’s hypervisor, z/VM. This enables application and database security without modifying applications.

Do you want to hear more?

What’s presented above is a sampling of the total story. LinuxONE servers bring with it an exceptional Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), highest RAS in the industry, and enormous processor scalability. Reach out to Marianne Eggett at or your local Mainline Account Executive to learn how LinuxONE can help your IT infrastructure.


Please contact your Mainline Account Executive directly, or click here to contact us with any questions.

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