Beta Update for June 17

New Hardware Restrictions Identified: We are trying to reduce or avoid hardware restrictions for z86VM. We’ve documented our server restriction that z86VM will only run on z114 or z196 processors and above. That is because z86VM takes advantage of dozens of z hardware instructions that were originally released in the z196 server. IBM chose not to make them available in earlier hardware releases.

Today, we must inform you of storage restrictions. While FBA and FCP attached storage devices are supported by z/VM, these are not presently supported by z86VM. There are also minimum storage capacity needs for z86VM to be successful.  There are two parts of storage needs: 1. The z86VM IO server file system and 2. The z86MNT 191 CMS Disk that is used to stage the product and copy it into the IO server.

With the z86VM IO server, we can support any ECKD storage device sizes. Multiple disks can be strung together to create a single larger file system. x86 operating systems that are larger than a single ECKD device can logically span multiple devices in the IO file server. If someone would like to use 3390-3 devices for the IO Server, we can provide documentation as to how to do that.

The issue or restriction is a small z86MNT 191 disk cannot host the original files shipped from Mantissa to customers. We have looked at several technical solutions from Mantissa, but none are currently in our Beta release plans. The alternative for a customer is to acquire a larger storage device or reconfigure an existing storage subsystem to meet the capacity requirements for the z86MNT 191 disk needs.

If there are existing beta customers that are experiencing this constraint, please send a note to with z86VM Beta in the subject line so we can better understand your requirements.

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