Ubuntu on z Systems

August 30th, 2016

Andy Hartman
Senior Systems Engineer

With the recent announcement from Canonical and IBM, Ubuntu is now available on z Systems. This adds a third supported distribution, along with SuSE and Red Hat, giving you a wide choice of options for running Linux on z Systems.

With Ubuntu’s availability on z Systems comes a new pricing model, and a different emphasis on the type of applications that can run on z Systems. Canonicals’ pricing is based on book capacity instead of individual IFLs. This can provide very cost-effective workloads, as the number of IFLs increase. Combine this with IBM’s LinuxOne flexible pricing options, and this combination becomes a very effective ‘pay as you grow’ option.

Ubuntu 16.04 long-term support release allows you to run all the same applications and programs that come with the distribution, which you can run on other platforms. Canonical has made an effort to ensure you have the same functionality, regardless of which hardware platform you deploy to. This is important because there is a large development community that develops on Ubuntu.  And, with them having the ability to deploy to production on the same operating system, the same application requirements, and the same architecture, their testing time is cut down, as well as their risk. This allows for faster and more dynamic application development and life cycles. This also allows for consolidation and cost savings through utilizing an IBM LinuxOne server for development, testing and production. This can also help with disaster recovery costs, as you can reduce the number of platforms and components you need to recover, as well as get the added benefit of recovering your development environment, along with your production environment.

As well as ensuring all the distribution software works on z Systems, Canonical and IBM are working together to test and certify a large portfolio of IBM software to run in this environment. Along with application support, there is support for running Ubuntu under z/VM, KVM and z Systems, in addition to standalone in an LPAR. This provides many options for traditional hypervisor deployments, as well as newer cloud-based configurations utilizing orchestration and self-provisioning. Along with traditional hypervisors, you can take advantage of Docker and LXD/LXC to create micro services. There are numerous deployment options, from the very simple manual install into an LPAR and scripting installations using Preseed, all the way up to deploying patterns of multiple servers utilizing OpenStack and other deployment and cloud solutions.

With Ubuntu’s focus on open source software, you can develop solutions that are more cost-effective then using traditional enterprise software solutions. Open source software covers the entire spectrum, from simple application servers and highly scalable databases, all the way up to sophisticated analytic applications.

Canonical and IBM offer various support programs for both Ubuntu and z Systems, enabling you to deploy these solutions into production, with the same confidence and expectations you have had in the past using other Linux distributions and enterprise software.

Ubuntu combined with IBM LinuxOne offerings makes both a compelling technical and business case to consolidate existing workloads using these solutions, as well as deploying new workloads.  Mainline is here to help you take advantage of these new capabilities on z Systems.

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