Feeds

Will Big Blue mainframes run Windows?

z/VMs get Microsoft rumor

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

An obscure mainframe software company called Mantissa Corporation bragged last summer on the IBM VM listserv - which is dedicated to virtual mainframe environments - that it was creating a product called z/VOS that would allow slices of a Windows operating system to run atop z/VM, the hypervisor-as-operating system for IBM mainframes. The product was due in the first quarter of this year, and the story of its impending release has been making the rounds.

According to a report in NetworkWorld, Mantissa's z/VOS, presumably short for Virtual Operating System, is a layer of software for VM that allows desktop and server Windows operating systems to run in emulated mode atop z/VM. Mantissa - which is based in Birmingham, Alabama, and which is a supplier of report distribution and other tools for mainframes - talked about the z/VOS product at the SHARE mainframe user conference in early March in Austin, Texas. But that was not the same thing as a product launch.

We've tried to reach the company for several days, but Mantissa has yet to respond.

While IBM and the Linux community for mainframes centered around Marist College in New York have worked to get official mainframe ports done for Linux - Red Hat and Novell officially support mainframes, if you can write a big enough check to get support - there is no native Windows port to IBM mainframes as far as I know. So, the real curiosity is how Mantissa is supporting Windows XP or Vista atop z/VM partitions.

According to the company's development blog, z/VOS includes a translation engine that "converts native x86 code to its System z equivalent." See how easy that was? As it translates equivalent results - not creating equivalent machine code, mind you - the instruction that is created by z/VOS is stored in memory so it can be accessed the next time the operating system function inside Windows running on the mainframe is asked for again.

Since Gary Dennis, Mantissa's chief executive officer and founder - and other we've called - are not answering their phones, it is a little hard to take the company seriously. But if it can indeed deliver a layer of abstraction software atop z/VM that lets Windows desktops and servers run on mainframe iron, the company should probably think about getting someone to answer the phones and maybe a salesperson or two to try to take some orders. If the x86 translation overhead is not too high, this could be a very interesting development - and one that Big Blue would seem pretty keen on supporting, not quashing. ®

Reducing security risks from open source software

More from The Register

next story
Sysadmin Day 2014: Quick, there's still time to get the beers in
He walked over the broken glass, killed the thugs... and er... reconnected the cables*
SHOCK and AWS: The fall of Amazon's deflationary cloud
Just as Jeff Bezos did to books and CDs, Amazon's rivals are now doing to it
Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales
Investors really hate it: Share price plunge as growth SLOWS in key AWS division
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
BlackBerry: Toss the server, mate... BES is in the CLOUD now
BlackBerry Enterprise Services takes aim at SMEs - but there's a catch
The triumph of VVOL: Everyone's jumping into bed with VMware
'Bandwagon'? Yes, we're on it and so what, say big dogs
Carbon tax repeal won't see data centre operators cut prices
Rackspace says electricity isn't a major cost, Equinix promises 'no levy'
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.