System z

System z is the industry standard for several reasons. Among them:

  • Extreme virtualization: For large-scale consolidation, which can lower operating costs dramatically.
  • Highest levels of availability: System z offers more availability for global operations than any other platform in the world.
  • Unsurpassed scalability: For responding to the increasing and changing demands of today’s smarter business world.
  • Unparalleled security: System z is the only platform available in the world with an EAL5 certification – the highest security certification achieved by a hardware platform.
  • Massive costs savings: zEnterprise System reduces technology acquisition and operating costs

Why I.R.I.S. ICT?

As a Premier IBM Business Partner, I.R.I.S. ICT can provide you with a first class service for all your virtualization, implementation and IT-management projects.

Supported by years of experience with the leading server-, storage- and networkproducts of todays world market, I.R.I.S. ICT has never forgotten that innovation is at least as important as knowledge and service.
That is why we have engineers that can combine their huge amount of experience with a great knowledge of today's latest products and technologies, and not only when it comes to hardware.

This is why you can be sure that you have reached tomorrow earlier than your competitors.

-I.R.I.S. ICT, your ICT-partner.


What is System z?

The IBM System z is a series of mainframes. A system of systems. A heterogeneous compute system that can host many workloads integrated together and provide a virtualization environment in one system.

The System z architecture was designed on the concept of sharing. Sharing starts in the hardware components and ends with the data that is being used by the platform. With System z, IBM goes beyond the traditional mainframe with the ability to run applications that are based on Power and System x architectures. The latest System z Host is called zEnterprise.

The z can run z/OS, IBM z/VSE and z/TPF for traditional mainframe applications. The z/VM as a hypervisor to run thousands of virtual servers, z/Linux - both Red Hat Enterprise Linux and SuSe Enterprise Linux - to consolidate and virtualize Linux servers, IBM AIX with IBM PowerVM on the POWER7 blades, Linux and Windows on System x blades.

How it works (image)


The workload support capabilities of the z are completed by the zBX. Each zBX can have up to four frames housing up to eight BladeCenters, eacht with up to 14 IBM blades, for a maximum of 112 blades. High-speed virtualized networkds support data communication between applications running in the Host and the zBX. The complete structure (called an 'ensemble') can be managed as one.

The available blades for zBX
  • Select IBM POWER7 blades
    These blades run a wide variety of applications on the AIX operating system.
  • Select IBM System x blades
    These blades run Linux applications. IBM has issued a Statement of Direction regarding the support of the Microsoft Windows operating system.
  • Special-purpose blades
    These blades are dedicated to specific tasks. Examples are the IBM WebSphere DataPower XI50 for zEnterprise and the IBM Smart Analytics Optimizer solution.


Why System z?

Freedom to select the best placement for the application's component is a requirement for overall efficiency and IT optimization. One size really does not fit all. That is why many end-to-end solutions based on multi-platform workloads can be deployed across the System z structure. We call it 'Freedom by Design'.

Capacity on Demand

With zEnterprise, IBM enhances the availability and flexibility of just-in-time deployment of additional system resources, known as Capacity on Demand (CoD). CoD provides flexibility, granularity and responsivenessby allowing the user to change capacity dynamically as business requirements change. Additional capacity resources can be dynamically activated, either fully or in part, by using granular activation controls directly from the management console. This is particullary useful in cases of seasonal peaks or disaster recovery situations.

Scale up and scale out

The ability to scale up, or add processor power for additional workloads, is a traditional mainframe strength. At the same time, a System z server lets users define and provision virtual servers that have all of the charasteristics of distributed servers, except they do not require dedicated hardware. They simply coexist in total isolation. This is how a System z can sale up and scale out at the same time.


The System z hardware itself is a highly available server. From its inception all of the hardware elements have always had an internal redundancy. Starting with the energy components and ending with the central processors, all of these redundant elements can be switched automatically in the event of an error. As a result of this redundancy, it is possible to make fixes or changes to any element that is down without stopping the machine from working and providing support for the customers.

Failure recovery

The System z operating system that sits on top of the hardware has traditionally provided the best protection and recovery from failure. For example, z/OS, the flagship operation system of the System z platform, was built to mask a failure from the application. In severe cases, z/OS can recover through a graceful degradation rather than end in complete failure. Operating system maintenance and release change can be done in most cases without stopping the environment.


The System z Parallel Sysplex architecture allows clustered System z servers to provide resource sharing, workload balancing and data sharing capabilities for the IT, delivering ultimate flexibility when supporting different middleware applications. Although System z hardware, operating systems and middleware have long supported multiple applications on a single server, Parallel Sysplex clustering enables multiple applications to communicate across servers, and even supports the concept of a large, single application spanning multiple servers, resulting in optimal availability characteristics for that application.


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