Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Preview of IBM z/VM V6.4

On February 16, 2016 along with the z13s, IBM also made a preview announcement of z/VM 6.4 : 'Delivering industry-proven advanced virtualization capabilities to support the increasing demands of your business (ZP16-0014)'

z/VM is planned to become available in the fourth quarter of 2016 and it will support the two LinuxONE versions and System z from z114 and z196 onwards. Mind you, z/VM 6.3 was still supporting the z10 systems, z/VM 6.4 will NOT !

Here's a short overview directly from the announcement :
"z/VM V6.4 enables extreme scalability, security, and efficiency, creating cost savings opportunities, and provides the foundation for cognitive computing on z Systems and LinuxONE.  z/VM V6.4 is planned to deliver:
  • Increased efficiency with HyperPAV paging that takes advantage of DS8000 features to increase the bandwidth for paging and allow for more efficient memory management of over-committed workloads.
  • Easier migration with enhanced upgrade-in-place infrastructure that provides an improved migration path from previous z/VM releases.
  • Improved operations with ease of use enhancements requested by clients, such as querying service applied to the running hypervisor and providing environment variables to allow programming automation based on systems characteristics and client settings.
  • Improved Small Computer System Interface (SCSI) support for guest attachment of disk and other peripherals, and hypervisor attachment of disk drives to z Systems and LinuxONE systems to:
    • Increase efficiency by allowing an IBM FlashSystem® to be directly attached to z/VM for system use without the need for an IBM System Storage® SAN Volume Controller (SVC).
    • Enable ease of use with enhanced management for SCSI devices to provide information needed about device configuration characteristics.
  • Increased scalability by exploiting Guest Enhanced DAT to allow guests to take advantage of large (1 MB) pages, decreasing the memory and overhead required to perform address translation.
  • Integration of new CMS Pipelines functionality which previously was not formally incorporated within the z/VM product, allowing a much more inclusive set of tools for application developers. "
Next to that, there's also support for simultaneous multithreading (SMT) and the vector extension facility (SIMD) instructions on the z13 systems. The last one helps "accelerating Business Analytics workloads on z13, z13s, and LinuxONE".

Have a look at the z/VM page and the z/VM 6.4 Resources page. I'm sure, in time, more information will certainly become available on those pages. And it's always interesting to follow the discussions on the z/VM discussion list.

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