System z is a family name used by IBM for all of its mainframe computers. IBM System z are the direct descendants of System/360, announced in 1964, and the System/370 from 1970s, and now includes the IBM System z9, the IBM System z10 and the newer IBM zEnterprise. System z is famous for its high availability and used in government, financial services, retail, manufacturing, and just about every other industry.

z/VM is a hypervisor for the IBM System z platform that provides a highly flexible test and production environment. z/VM offers a base for customers who want to exploit IBM virtualization technology on one of the industry’s best-of-breed server environments, the IBM System z family.

The z/VM cloud connector is a development sdk for manage z/VM. It provides a set of APIs to operate z/VM including guest, image, network, volume etc. For more info, please refer to z/VM cloud connector.

The neutron z/VM driver is designed as a neutron Layer 2 plugin/agent combination, to enable OpenStack to exploit z Systems and z/VM virtual network facilities through the z/VM cloud connector. Typically, from the OpenStack neutron perspective, a neutron plugin performs the database related work, while a neutron agent performs the real configuration work on hypervisors. Note that in this document, the terms “neutron z/VM plugin” and “neutron z/VM agent” both refer to the neutron z/VM driver.

The main component of the neutron z/VM driver is neutron-zvm-agent, which is designed to work with a Neutron server running with the ML2 plugin. The neutron z/VM driver uses the neutron ML2 plugin to do database related work, and neutron-zvm-agent will use the z/VM cloud connector to do real network configuration work on z/VM.

  • One neutron-zvm-agent can work with or configure only one z/VM host.
  • The neutron z/VM driver does not support IPV6.

Note that there are some terminology differences between OpenStack and the neutron z/VM driver, as follows:

OpenStack Neutron z/VM Driver
Physical network z/VM vswitch
Segmentation ID VLAN ID
base_mac System prefix or user prefix

The neutron z/VM driver uses a z/VM vswitch to provide connectivity for OpenStack instances. Refer to z/VM: Connectivity for more information on vswitches and the z/VM network concept.

Note that neutron z/VM driver only supports the z/VM vswitch with user based and ETHERNET transport type.

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