Porting an application from UNIX to Linux can be a small effort, especially for Java or C/C++ applications. The ported application can take advantage of the mainframe hardware. For example, it can use HiperSockets or cryptographic facilities. As we will explore further in the next section, you can also use virtual networks to achieve a close integration with other applications on the same machine.
Most of the porting work can be done in your developers' favorite Linux environment. The final test requires access to the target Linux-on-the-mainframe environment. Given that sufficient resources are available, this means a z/VM test image that can easily be created.
The Linux distributions include much of what you need for porting an application. There are Web sites with tools, documentation, and other resources you might find helpful for porting. There is a possibility for gaining access to a Linux-on-the-mainframe test environment so you do not necessarily need your own mainframe machine to port an application to Linux on the mainframe.