The mainframe provides virtual inter-image communications that allow you to deploy integrated Linux server environments on a single mainframe machine. In this chapter, we have used mainly examples based on z/VM. For environments with a small number of images, many of the opportunities that we have described for z/VM can also be provided by LPARs and HiperSockets.
Connectors allow applications on Linux images to exploit resources on the traditional mainframe operating systems or vice versa. This means that it is possible to set up a heterogeneous server environment with a middle-tier based on Linux on the mainframe and a z/OS or VSE/ESA back-end.
Conversely, you can set up environments where applications on the traditional mainframe operating systems use Linux back-end servers.
You can implement a logical 3-tier application environment (non-zSeries clients, application servers, and back-end servers) within a physically consolidated 2-tier environment, where only the client is not on zSeries.
Linux on the mainframe can provide a fast deployment platform for new applications. While z/VM and LPAR provide isolation, connectors ease functional integration with an existing traditional mainframe environment.