I experienced, first-hand, the Outstanding quality of SUSE Engineering today. Common Code-base has always been touted as a key differentiator with SUSE Linux Enterprise, where the same operating system is compiled (AutoBuild) and ready for a number of different hardware chipsets/platforms. The implication is that the latest & greatest code/patches will be simultaneously available for SUSE Linux Enterprise on x86 (32 & 64 bit) as well as IBM POWER, IBM System z etc.
With IBM System z (aka the Mainframe), its been said that SUSE Linux Enterprise runs natively & without any emulation layer. Further, there is approximately 1% of code change in the kernel due to the fact that the System z uses a different chipset.
All the above is true and I am personally convinced today. Why? Because I had the opportunity to work on a small virtual instance (512Mb RAM) of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 (SLES 11) running on the legendary IBM System z10 BC this week. The machine is also hosting a number of other SLES 11 instances and traditional mainframe workloads (ie z/OS).
Previously, I wrote an entry on setting up mojoPortal (ASP.NET web app) on SUSE Linux Enterprise with the Mono extension (link). Using the exact same steps that I described, written & tested against my Lenovo Thinkpad (x86), I can achieve the same result on the IBM System z10 BC!
That's right folks, the only difference is I needed to install SLES 11 DVD for System z (s390x). Next, I used the exact same mojoportal rpm (noarch) & SLES-11-Mono-GM-DVD1.iso (noticed its hardware platform independent) that worked on my Lenovo Thinkpad. In less than an hour (the speed and throughput of System z is amazing), I've got everything up and running on SLES 11 on System z.
Interesting how we now have the option of running traditional LAMP stacks, Java workloads and .NET applications on SLES 11 on System z. Further, with database options of PostgreSQL, MySQL, IBM DB2, Oracle DB added to the mix... Wow, this opens up more options for server consolidation and the type of applications that can now be hosted on System z to achieve unrivaled uptime, vertical scalability, security and I/O throughput.