This part is intended to give an overview of the many options that Linux on the mainframe provides for setting up server environments. It is of particular interest to system architects.
First, we look at alternatives for obtaining Linux applications and the benefits of running those applications on the mainframe. We then describe what it means to port an application to Linux on the mainframe. Finally, we look at the advantages that the mainframe's internal communication methods provide to consolidated integrated server environments. We describe connectors, middleware components that allow you to closely integrate the traditional mainframe operating systems with virtual Linux servers in a heterogeneous environment.
Depending on their point of view, different people use the terms applications, middleware, and tools with slightly different, often overlapping, meanings.
Sometimes the term applications is used exclusively for programs that directly serve an end user. We use applications with a broader meaning that includes middleware and tools. Where we want to differentiate, we use end user applications. An application covers all program modules that cooperate to provide a function. Parts of a single application can be spread across multiple operating system images on different machines.
We use middleware for software that provides a framework or service that end user applications can exploit to accomplish their tasks. For example, middleware can provide programming interfaces, security, workload management, database services, or administration capabilities.
We use tools for programs that help in developing code and maintaining IT infrastructures. For example, tools can be editors, compilers, or programs that facilitate systems management.