This paper explores fourteen published Information Technology (IT) articles that report on results from research conducted on zLinux also known as SUSE Linux. This operating system runs on an IBM z series mainframe and has proven track record for over the past 10+ years with its known efficiency, compatibility to convert and work with other systems, and cost savings. These savings were mostly to retailing companies and some financial networks. Almost every article mentioned emphasizes how SUSE is the leading provider for an enterprise Linux solution that increase agility, reduces cost and manages complexity in dynamic environments. Also mentioned is a project team who develops a plan for their organization to strategically use SUSE in their environment at the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) based on the documented research of proven SUSE Linux robust architecture.
Keywords: zLinux, Mainframe, SUSE Linux zLinux Rehosting
There are many computer systems in today’s environment that operate in a capacity to host either multiple applications for customers or multiple operating environments on one server to save on space and cost. One particular system researched is zLinux, also known as SUSE Linux, was originally developed by SUSE in 1992, which now is a sub company of Attachmate Group ("SUSE history," 2012). The zLinux operating system is known for its efficiency, compatibility to convert and work with other systems, and cost savings to stakeholders in server and mainframe environments today. As a result, the researcher also known as the project manager (PM) was tasked to understand the pros of migrating over from a reputable operating system to the zLinux system, in order to take over the zLinux Rehost project. Many corporations, such as Dundee City Council, Bank of Russia, AMTRAK, BlueCross BlueShield of Minnesota, Boston University, and Miami-Dade County, have proven success by switching their operating system environment to the SUSE Linux which are now managed on an IBM System z at a much reduced cost according to “NOVELL CELEBRATES 10,” (2010). Currently working for the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), the researcher was tasked with overlooking the zLinux Rehost project and began by looking into the proposed efficiency of the zLinux operating system. The attempt entailed educating and understanding the function of the operating system and why the government was going this route to convert their current customers to zLinux environments from HP-UX, SUN, AIX, Red Hat Linux, Windows and Mainframe. The task was a huge endeavor. The stakeholders of the project consisted of system administrators, the sponsor who was the Deputy and Director of two Enterprise Service Divisions, customers of other government entities, logistics personnel, business planning team, and the asset management team just to name a few. The business case was established by the technical refresh group and the Catalog of Services suggested all DISA customers must review moving to a zLinux environment prior to upgrading their antiquated operating systems, when time to perform a technical refresh. The problem found was the business case wasn’t really a great presentation of the need to migrate. The PM in this case, reached out to Novell’s business office, a sub company of Attachmate Group, to obtain current business cases in order to understand the true efficiency that had been a result of prior companies who had already successfully made the conversion. . In the article "Novell Announces New," (2008), SUSE Linux Enterprise is the best-engineered and most interoperable platform for mission-critical computing, from the desktop to the data center. In a customer study performed by Lighthouse Research, Novell at the time gained top ratings for their overall support and surpassed their competitors Red Hat and Oracle Linux on several different types of support including