Feeds

Will Big Blue mainframes run Windows?

z/VMs get Microsoft rumor

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
NSA SOURCE CODE LEAK: Information slurp tools to appear online
Now you can run your own intelligence agency
Azure TITSUP caused by INFINITE LOOP
Fat fingered geo-block kept Aussies in the dark
Yahoo! blames! MONSTER! email! OUTAGE! on! CUT! CABLE! bungle!
Weekend woe for BT as telco struggles to restore service
Cloud unicorns are extinct so DiData cloud mess was YOUR fault
Applications need to be built to handle TITSUP incidents
Stop the IoT revolution! We need to figure out packet sizes first
Researchers test 802.15.4 and find we know nuh-think! about large scale sensor network ops
Turnbull should spare us all airline-magazine-grade cloud hype
Box-hugger is not a dirty word, Minister. Box-huggers make the cloud WORK
SanDisk vows: We'll have a 16TB SSD WHOPPER by 2016
Flash WORM has a serious use for archived photos and videos
Astro-boffins start opening universe simulation data
Got a supercomputer? Want to simulate a universe? Here you go
Microsoft adds video offering to Office 365. Oh NOES, you'll need Adobe Flash
Lovely presentations... but not on your Flash-hating mobe
prev story

Whitepapers

Go beyond APM with real-time IT operations analytics
How IT operations teams can harness the wealth of wire data already flowing through their environment for real-time operational intelligence.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.