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IBM Z delivers a Trusted Execution Environment with Ubuntu 20.04 LTS and new single frame models

In September 2019, IBM released z15 and LinuxONE III, the most secure cloud environment in the market featuring pervasive encryption built-in at its core with Ubuntu. This offered a solid foundation to launch hardened security offerings for the mainframe across platforms such as MongoDB, Postgres, IDAA, IBM Cloud Private and the IBM Hyper Protect services family. 

Security and flexibility made affordable with 2 new single-frame platforms

Today, IBM Z seeks to extend these industry-leading capabilities in security, encryption, data privacy, compression and platform overall flexibility to a broader client and prospect base at lower cost for entry with two new single-frame, air-cooled systems – the z15 T02 and LinuxONE III LT2. These hardware-based security and acceleration enhancements are supported in the latest Ubuntu Server 20.04 LTS (Long Term Support) release, being launched on 23rd April. The two new IBM platforms with Ubuntu 20.04 LTS are targeted for availability in May.

Critical workloads safer than ever with Secure Execution for Linux

The IBM z15 and LinuxONE III are designed to enhance security for critical customer data and workloads, such as sensitive databases, crypto services and blockchain services. IBM Secure Execution for Linux on IBM z15 and LinuxONE III is a Trusted Execution Environment that protects and isolates critical workloads better than a standard software environment, from both internal and external threats. IBM and Canonical worked on a design that protects the contents of containers in heterogeneous workloads without extensive software code changes by preventing memory share at the kernel level. Confidentiality and integrity for sensitive data and workloads on IBM Z are secured in a multi cloud environment, allowing a Kubernetes container admin to manage workloads on both Z and x86, without allowing access to data in the secure containers.

Hardware acceleration and IFL-consumption optimised software

Another key innovation brought by IBM Z is on chip compression acceleration to reduce the cost of encrypting, processing, transporting and storing data. Ubuntu 20.04 LTS is the first Linux release on IBM Z and LinuxONE to fully leverage those acceleration capabilities out of the box, and without the need to manually enable. Running Ubuntu 20.04 LTS on the z15 T02 or LinuxONE III LT2 platforms is the most IFL-efficient way to run Linux workloads on the mainframe, bringing 20% to 40% storage improvement to those transactions without making application changes, allowing for substantial cost optimisations along the way.

The best of open source infrastructure, with the security of z15, at unmatched economic efficiency

With Ubuntu 20.04 LTS on these two new IBM z15 systems, customers enjoy the best of innovation on Linux – kernel 5.4, the most extensive set of libraries, packages, tool-chain, and security updates – alongside feature parity to other compute platforms, while keeping the unique security features IBM brings to that combination.

Ubuntu 20.04 LTS on IBM Z is the latest collaboration between Canonical and IBM Z. Every quarter, together we have brought all key open source infrastructure innovation on Z and LinuxONE. This ranges from bare metal tools such as to provision KVM pods to enable virtual machines on Z, Charmed OpenStack distribution to embrace scale out compute from Mitaka to Ussuri release, LXD hypervisor for both virtual machines and containers, and Charmed Kubernetes to provide a full cloud native environment on IBM Z and LinuxONE.

Cost-efficiency with Canonical continues to be a critical component in advancing digital transformation. Canonical optimises the full support offering into Ubuntu Advantage Infrastructure, meaning customers can execute a full cloud native environment on IBM Z and LinuxONE, at a yearly price as low as $4k per IFL and $19.5k per drawer.

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