Nahuel Tori

(Nahuel Tori está en el extremo derecho)

English version

Unos días antes de Navidad…

Me llegó un mail de IBM anunciando los resultados del concurso Master the Mainframe Sudamérica 2012. Con mucha ansiedad abrí el mail, y recibí la grata sorpresa de que había terminado en el primer puesto. Realmente no lo esperaba, ya que fue un concurso con muchas tareas desafiantes, y una gran cantidad de participantes de toda latinoamérica.
El día de la entrega de premios en el edificio de IBM, también me sorprendí al encontrarme con algunos conocidos: el segundo lugar en fue para un compañero de la facultad de Ingeniería de la UBA, al cual había invitado al concurso y charlamos al inscribirnos. También me encontré con otro conocido, un ex-compañero de trabajo, quien estudia en la UTN. El mundo de sistemas es muy chico, y más todavía el de Mainframe: uno siempre se vuelve a encontrar con viejos compañeros.

El tratamiento “VIP”

El premio por obtener el primer lugar, consistía en un viaje a la planta de IBM en Poughkeepsie, el cual estuvo estupendo. La planta es enorme, como una mini ciudad, que posee instalaciones donde se fabrican integralmente todos los equipos: desde la confección de los circuitos y ensamble, hasta el testeo, puesta a punto y envío a los clientes. Lo que más me asombró de toda la instalación, es el aprovechamiento que realizan del agua fría del río Hudson: a través de tuberías se ingresa el agua fría a las instalaciones, la cual se utiliza para refrigerar todo tipo de equipos e instalaciones: funcionamiento de los mainframes, servidores y un Green Data Center. Pude apreciar que todos los edificios contaban con cañerías con agua fría a disposición, y debajo de todos los pisos flotantes había conexiones de agua para conectar directamente a los equipos. Es de resaltar que esta utilización del agua es totalmente ecológica, ya que es devuelta al río sin ninguna alteración ni modificación, apenas unos grados de diferencia de temperatura. Y además permite ahorrar mucha electricidad en equipos de refrigeración.

Los otros ganadores

En Poughkeepsie me encontré con los ganadores del concurso de otros países: los tres primeros puestos de EEUU y Canadá, y el ganador de España. Quiero destacar también la gran hospitalidad y amabilidad de todos los empleados de IBM con que nos recibieron a los ganadores, quienes dedicaron dos días a enseñarnos y contarnos sus tareas en la planta, y charlar con nosotros sobre la tecnología actual y todas las dudas que tuviésemos sobre lo que hacen.
Creo que fue una experiencia muy enriquecedora tanto para mi carrera profesional como para mi vida, ya que pude conocer a muchas personas importantes e interesantes de la industria y sus profesiones, a la vez que compartir su cultura y ofrecer un poco de la propia.

 

Muchas gracias por la oportunidad, y hasta el próximo encuentro!

 
 

Nahuel Tori

(Nahuel Tori, Argentina far right)

Versión española

A few days before Christmas…

I got an email announcing the results IBM Master the Mainframe Contest South America 2012.  With much anxiety I opened the mail , and I received the pleasant surprise that I was in the first place .  I really did not expect it , as it was a competition with many challenging tasks , and a large number of participants from throughout Latin America .

The day of the awards ceremony in the IBM building, I was also surprised to meet some acquaintances : the second place went to a fellow of the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Buenos Aires , whom he had invited to the contest and talked to enroll.  I also met by another acquaintance , a former co-worker, who studies at NTU.  The world is very small, and even more so the Mainframe : you always reconnects with old friends .

VIP Treatment

The prize for getting first place , was on a trip to the IBM plant in Poughkeepsie , which was great.  The plant is huge, like a mini city, with facilities that manufacture integrally all the teams: from the manufacture of circuits and assembly; testing; commissioning; and delivery to customers.

What amazed me about the entire system is using cold water from the Hudson River.  Cold water enters through pipes throughout the facility cooling all kinds of equipment and facilities : operation mainframes, servers and Green Data Center.  I could see that all buildings had cold water pipes on hand, and under all floating floors had water connections to connect directly to computers.  It is noteworthy that this water is completely organic, as it is returned to the river without any alteration or modification, only a few degrees difference in temperature.  And it saves a lot of electricity on refrigeration equipment.

The Other Winners

In Poughkeepsie I found the winners from other countries : the top three U.S. and Canada , and the winner of Spain.  I noted also the great hospitality and friendliness of all IBM employees that greeted the winners, who devoted two days to teach us and tell us your tasks on the ground, and chat with us about current technology and all the doubts that we had about what they do .

I think it was a very enriching experience both for my career and for my life, since I was able to meet many interesting and important people in the industry and the professions, while sharing their culture and offer some of their own.

Thank you very much for the opportunity , and until we meet again !

What is Virtualization?

Virtualization is the process of consolidating physical machines and/or servers onto one physical machine, thus creating “Virtual Machines” that share the central Server’s resources (Processor, Memory, Storage, etc.) virtualization allows the creation of multiple systems, the physical systems that are already in use can have its data and information moved to the mainframe and used as if it was still a “physical” box.  This also will allow that system to be used from virtually anywhere access is allowed.  By being moved to the mainframe system, these existing systems will also become more isolated and secure than it was as an individual system.

Virtualization consolidation

As a Virtual Machine, or VM, the system has more controlled and secure access to its data. With adjusted settings, the VM will be completely isolated from other systems and completely unaffected by other systems on the mainframe, whereas in its physical state, the machine could be intruded or accidentally affected, or crashed, by other systems within that network.  Virtual Machines are impenetrable within a mainframe environment. Virtualization ultimately allows multiple, different operating systems to run on the mainframe at the same time.

hypervisor

Advantages of virtualization

Virtualization

The virtual machine environment is highly flexible and adaptable.  New Linux guests can be added to a VM system quickly and easily without requiring dedicated resources.  This is useful for replicating servers in addition to giving users a highly flexible test environment

Sharing resources

Resources can be shared among multiple Linux images running on the same VM system. These resources include: CPU cycles, memory, storage devices, and network adapters.

Server hardware consolidation

Running tens or hundreds of Linux instances on a single System z server offers customers savings in space and personnel required to manage real hardware.

System z advantages

Running Linux on VM means the Linux guest(s) can transparently take advantage of VM support for System z hardware architecture and features

z/VM Connectivity

z/VM provides high-performance communication among virtual machines running Linux and other operating systems on the same processor.  Simplification of the network by using HiperSockets may provide savings and reduce cabling, hubs, switches, and routers, as well as help to reduce maintenance effort.

Horizontal growth

An effective way to grow your Linux workload capacity is to add more Linux guests to a VM system.  z/VM V5 supports Integrated Facility for Linux (IFL) processors, the attractively-priced hardware feature for Linux workloads available for System z.   An IFL is an dedicated processor for running Linux on the mainframe, designed to reduce software costs specifically.   

IBM introduced a new engine-based Value Unit pricing announced for z/VM V5, replacing the per-engine pricing model that was available with z/VM V4.  Engine-based Value Unit pricing is designed to provide a decreasing price curve as hardware capacities and workload grow, which may help improve price/performance.

So, why use Linux on the mainframe?

Linux is more secure and also stable than most OS’s.  Since its creation, Linux has been able to remain clear of mass-spread viruses or spyware.  This will disable the need for the organization to purchase any antivirus software and the subscriptions such as it would on Windows.   Also, by Linux being open source, the vast majority of Linux based software is also completely free and available for download at any time.

Mainframe customers just about always buy support.   Annual subscriptions for Red Hat is 15 to 18 thousand per IFL.   Suse is similar.  Linux on z is typically used to run licensed enterprise software rather than free open source, so there are costs as with most servers.  However  there is still cost savings for many workloads due to consolidation.

Some real examples of the benefits of virtualization, specifically Linux, includes Nationwide Insurance.  Nationwide.com runs on WebSphere¸ one of IBM’s lead web application server products, on Linux for System z.  They expect to save $16M over the next 3 years from their initial deployment of the Linux application.  The initial deployment consolidated over 250 Production, Development & Test Servers down to only 6 IFLs, or Integrated Facility for Linux.  

Bank of New Zealand also engaged in a consolidation of its own.  The bank reduced over 200 Sun servers down to one System z10 running Red Hat Enterprise Linux.  They also reduced their datacenter footprint by 30%, reduced the heat output by 33%, and power consumption by very close to 40%.  Also, they saved in human resources by having only one assigned administrator per 200 virtual servers.

As both of these examples show, benefits from virtualization are indeed REAL!

linux_ibm

 

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