Ubuntu 16.04 now available on IBM z Systems: Security + Performance

0 Posted by - April 21, 2016 - Blog


Canonical has announced that the eagerly awaited Ubuntu 16.04 (Xenial Xerus)  in now available. For the  first time the Ubuntu platform is available on IBM z Systems. According to a press release from Canonical, “This partnership puts Ubuntu on mainframes, the world’s most powerful Linux systems.”  Canonical  Ubuntu 16.04 LTS has been ported to run on IBM’s z Systems, enabling scale-out Linux workloads to be brought to mainframe systems for customers such as banks and insurance companies.

“IBM and Canonical teaming to bring Ubuntu to z Systems allows customers to leverage the speed and security of z Systems, and the open-source software and tools of Ubuntu, to enhance the IT operations for a new universe of customers, ” notes  Jane Silber, CEO of Canonical.

Pairing  the scaleability, performance and security of IBM z Systems with Canonical Ubuntu will deliver the ability to ability to process massive workloads. “Ubuntu today is the language of scaleout workload, regardless of where they sit,” Anand Krishnan, EVP of Canonical’s cloud division, said during a briefing with Linux Journal. “About 75 percent of all the Linux on the public cloud is Ubuntu. That is also true when you move to on-premises scaleout.”

“The support for Ubuntu on IBM’s z Systems mainframes could pay significant dividends for the company among enterprise customers, ” notes Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT.

Highlights of the new Ubuntu version 16.04 include.

  •  ‘Snaps’ for new robust, secure app format
  • LXD pure-container hypervisor with OpenStack Mitaka
  • Support for IBM LinuxONE systems
  • Steps towards converged Ubuntu across IOT, Phone, Desktop and Server
  • ZFS and CephFS for large-scale cloud storage


Security with Ubuntu 16.04 and IBM z Systems

“Snap provides greater security through isolation policies,” says Jane Silber, CEO of Canonical. “Snap originated from the development of the Ubuntu phone. This furthers Canonical’s progress along the convergence path.”

The added security of the Ubuntu 16.04 snappy application package with the combination of the security benefits of the IBM z Systems (the cryptographic processor ) as well as the IBM z Systems software will be appealing to many enterprise organizations. IBM  z Systems has earned Common Criteria Evaluation Assurance Level (EAL) 5+ security certification. The IBM z System PR/SM  is designed for Common Criteria Evaluation Assurance Level 5+ (EAL 5+) certification for security, so an application running on one partition can’t access another application on a different partition, providing essentially the same security as an air-gapped system.  The tamper-resistant Crypto Express 4S card, for instance, provides privacy for transactions and other sensitive data transfers.  This makes the combined security features of Ubuntu 16.04 and IBM z Systems attractive to governments, financial institutions and retailers.

“As more enterprises adopt hybrid cloud, they are looking for new platforms that run Linux with efficiency and flexibility,” said Ross A. Mauri, general manager, IBM z Systems and LinuxONE. “With the release of Ubuntu 16.04, IBM will be able to offer our IBM z Systems clients a simple, affordable high-performance Linux distribution that will better equip them to take advantage of hybrid cloud.”

About the Author: Mary Hall

Mary Hall is Worldwide Sr. Marketing Manager for IBM LinuxONE marketing and IBM z Systems content marketing. Ms. Hall is an experienced technology professional with published articles in WebSphere Developer’s Journal and the Huffington Post.