Feeds

Will Big Blue mainframes run Windows?

z/VMs get Microsoft rumor

Security for virtualized datacentres

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. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Just don't blame Bono! Apple iTunes music sales PLUMMET
Cupertino revenue hit by cheapo downloads, says report
The DRUGSTORES DON'T WORK, CVS makes IT WORSE ... for Apple Pay
Goog Wallet apparently also spurned in NFC lockdown
Hey - who wants 4.8 TERABYTES almost AS FAST AS MEMORY?
China's Memblaze says they've got it in PCIe. Yow
Cray-cray Met Office spaffs £97m on VERY AVERAGE HPC box
Only 250th most powerful in the world? Bring back Michael Fish
IBM, backing away from hardware? NEVER!
Don't be so sure, so-surers
Microsoft brings the CLOUD that GOES ON FOREVER
Sky's the limit with unrestricted space in the cloud
'ANYTHING BUT STABLE' Netflix suffers BIG Europe-wide outage
Friday night LIVE? Nope. The only thing streaming are tears down my face
Google roolz! Nest buys Revolv, KILLS new sales of home hub
Take my temperature, I'm feeling a little bit dizzy
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Internet Security Threat Report 2014
An overview and analysis of the year in global threat activity: identify, analyze, and provide commentary on emerging trends in the dynamic threat landscape.