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IBM z/OS Container Platform 1.1 is generally available!


IBM is excited to announce the general availability of IBM z/OS Container Platform (zOSCP)!  IBM z/OS Container Platform uses industry-standard open source technologies to build and run containerized z/OS UNIX applications natively on z/OS. The product delivers a container runtime and the utilities to build, run and manage containers on z/OS.

Like a shipping container, a software container is a standard package of software which includes all the binaries, dependencies, and configuration file information required to run an application. This enables containerized applications to be deployed across development, test, and production environments and always run the same way.

Containers are both hardware architecture and operating system specific which means a container image is built specifically for a target architecture and a target operating system.  A container built to run on x86 architecture and Linux will not run on s390x architecture and z/OS and vice versa.  Images built for zOSCP are built specifically for the s390x architecture and to run on z/OS. Once an image is built, containers can quickly and easily be replicated, deployed, and run in isolated environments. IBM z/OS Container Platform was designed to support the lightweight packaging and isolation characteristics of containers. Like other z/OS applications, containerized z/OS UNIX applications run in a z/OS address space and can be run alongside traditional z/OS applications and workloads.

The development approach for z/OS Container Platform (zOSCP) was to build containers that run natively on z/OS and behave like containers running on any other platform.  To achieve this, zOSCP uses open source technologies and implements a container runtime following the Open Container Initiative (OCI) standards.  The Open Container Initiative was formed under the Linux Foundation in order to define open industry standards around container images and runtimes.  zOSCP utilizes these open-source technologies that follow the OCI specifications:

  • runC - a container runtime following the OCI container runtime specification.
  • Podman - the open-source Command Line Interface (CLI) tool that is used to manage the entire lifecycle of a container and adheres to the OCI image specification.

The March 5, 2024, IBM z/OS Container platform announcement includes a statement of direction for future Kubernetes orchestration support. Container orchestration automates the deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications. Similarly to the container runtime, IBM has chosen industry standard technology and tooling for container orchestration.

IBM has made significant investment to bring open source container technology to z/OS and to enable containers to run natively on z/OS.  This includes significant enhancements to the base operating system to not only support zOSCP, but can also be leveraged across the platform.  Due to the investment made by IBM to port these open source technologies to z/OS, only a small number of open source modules required updates. IBM will upstream our changes to the Open Source community in the future.

Benefit from the strengths of IBM Z and the agility of container technology with z/OS Container Platform. zOSCP is designed to drive faster time to market by enabling new and existing z/OS UNIX applications to be packaged and run utilizing a cloud native developer experience that is consistent and familiar to developers.

  • Run containerized z/OS UNIX applications, with affinity to z/OS applications and data, natively on z/OS, unlocking potential performance benefits.
  • Continue to utilize traditional z/OS security, resource management and networking capabilities.
  • Leverage the ability to align with company-wide skills and tools by enabling a common cloud native development experience and integration with the rest of the enterprise, without the need for specialized knowledge of z/OS.  

To learn more about the underlying technology and capabilities, see the IBM Z Hot Topics article, IBM Brings Containers to z/OS with IBM z/OS Container Platform.

Obtaining IBM z/OS Container Platform

IBM z/OS Container Platform is available for no license charge through Shopz, program number 5655-MC3.  Optional IBM Software Subscription and Support, 5655-MC4, is also available with your order through Shopz.

Container images for use by zOSCP will be available through the IBM Container Registry.

Getting started

To learn more and get started using the product, see the following resources:

Product page

Content Solution

IBM Documentation

To stay up to date and be part of the conversation, join the IBM Z & IBM LinuxONE community topic group z/OS Container Platform