Mastering Mainframe Testing: A Guide to IBM Z Virtual Test Platform

Mastering Mainframe Testing

Mastering Mainframe Testing: A Guide to IBM Z Virtual Test Platform

IBM Z Virtual Test Platform
Vijaya Lakshmie

Mainframes Practice Head

December 19, 2023

In the rapidly evolving world of enterprise computing, testing and development are critical stages in ensuring the reliability and security of applications. For businesses relying on IBM Z mainframes, the IBM Z Virtual Test Platform (VTP) emerges as a powerful tool to streamline this process.

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What is the IBM Z Virtual Test Platform?

IBM Z Virtual Test Platform is a sophisticated testing solution designed to replicate the behavior of an actual IBM Z mainframe system in a controlled virtual environment. This powerful tool empowers developers and testers to work on applications tailored for IBM Z mainframes without interfering with production systems

Business Use Cases of the IBM Z Virtual Test Platform (VTP)

Shift Left Application Integration Testing

IBM Z developers can automate and shift the testing process of online transactions and batch programs early in the development lifecycle without needing artifacts to be deployed in the target environments.

Execute Your Test Without Original Middleware

Execute test without needing original middleware/ integration services or data. Once a test is recorded, you can execute the test without the need for original middleware (for example, CICS, Db2) or data. The tests can also be executed on a Z Development and Test (ZD&T) system running on-prem or any cloud platform.

Regression Testing

Testers can use recorded playback as part of regression testing strategy after compiler upgrades, Automatic Binary Optimizer (ABO), or Software Configuration Management (SCM) tool migrations.

Easy Debug

Accelerate debugging of issues raised in testing by quickly recreating the scenario using a recording of the test that failed.

Full Stubbing

Record, intercept, and stub out various subsystem and program-to-program calls.

Automate and Enable Continuous Testing

Save your tests in a Software Configuration Management (SCM) tool or artifact repository system and incorporate tests into a continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) pipeline.

Test z/OS-powered Hybrid Applications

Develop and execute test environment for z/OS hybrid applications using a single test framework. IBM Distribution for Galasa provides a comprehensive framework with artifacts to support interfacing z/OS environmental requirements.

Test Case Transaction Flow Insights

Run a test case and visualize the execution path flow and other details to understand the program under test better.

Key Features of IBM Z Virtual Test Platform (VTP)

Virtualization Technology

At the core of the IBM Z Virtual Test Platform lies virtualization. It creates virtual instances of IBM Z mainframes, providing a controlled and isolated environment for development and testing. This ensures that any changes made during testing do not impact the production environment.

Resource Isolation

One of the most crucial aspects of any testing environment is resource isolation. IBM Z VTP excels in this regard, safeguarding the integrity of both the testing and production systems.

Snapshot and Restore

Testing isn’t always smooth sailing. IBM Z VTP offers a safety net through its snapshot and restore functionality. This enables users to take snapshots of the virtualized environment, allowing them to revert to a known, stable state if issues arise during testing.

Performance Monitoring

Understanding how applications perform in a real-world scenario is paramount. IBM Z VTP provides comprehensive performance monitoring tools, allowing developers to identify potential bottlenecks and areas for optimization.

Compatibility Testing

Applications and software must seamlessly integrate with IBM Z mainframe architecture. IBM Z VTP provides a dedicated environment for rigorous compatibility testing, ensuring that all components work harmoniously.

Security Testing

Security is a top priority for any organization. IBM Z VTP facilitates rigorous security testing, allowing for the identification and resolution of vulnerabilities before deployment.

Regression Testing

Introducing new code or updates can sometimes lead to unintended consequences. IBM Z VTP supports regression testing, ensuring new changes do not break existing functionality.

Scalability and Flexibility

IBM Z Virtual Test Platform offers scalability, allowing businesses to adapt their testing environment to match the evolving needs of their projects. This flexibility ensures that the platform remains relevant as applications and systems grow in complexity.

Integration with DevOps Practices

For organizations employing DevOps practices, IBM Z VTP seamlessly integrates into their workflows. It facilitates continuous integration and continuous deployment (CI/CD) pipelines, enabling rapid and reliable delivery of applications.

Comprehensive Documentation and Support

IBM provides extensive documentation and support for users of the Virtual Test Platform. This includes guides, tutorials, and a knowledgeable support team, ensuring that users have the resources they need to make the most out of the platform.

Compliance and Regulatory Considerations

For businesses operating in regulated industries, IBM Z VTP can be configured to adhere to specific compliance requirements. This ensures that applications are developed and tested by industry standards.

Cost-Effective Licensing Models

IBM often offers flexible product licensing models, including the Virtual Test Platform. This allows businesses to choose a pricing structure that aligns with their budget and usage requirements.

Performance Tuning and Optimization

Users can fine-tune the virtualized environment to mirror specific production scenarios. This feature enables precise testing of applications under various conditions, ensuring robust performance in real-world scenarios.

Cross-Platform Compatibility

IBM Z VTP may offer compatibility with other platforms, enabling businesses to test interactions and integrations with non-mainframe systems.

User Community and Forums

As part of the IBM ecosystem, users can benefit from a community of professionals sharing knowledge, best practices, and solutions related to the IBM Z Virtual Test Platform. Participating in forums can be valuable for troubleshooting and expanding one’s understanding of the platform.

Security Patch Management

The platform often includes features for managing security patches and updates in a controlled manner, ensuring that the testing environment is protected against potential vulnerabilities.

Benefits of IBM Z Virtual Test Platform

  • Reduced Risk: By providing a controlled environment, IBM Z VTP minimizes the risk associated with testing on live production systems.
  • Cost Efficiency: It eliminates the need for physical hardware and associated maintenance costs, offering a cost-effective alternative.
  • Time Savings: The ability to quickly snapshot and restore environments expedites the testing process, saving valuable time.
  • Enhanced Collaboration: Teams can work collaboratively on a virtualized platform, regardless of geographical location.
  • Improved Quality Assurance: Rigorous testing in a controlled environment leads to higher-quality applications and reduced post-deployment issues.


IBM Z Virtual Test Platform is a powerful tool that plays a pivotal role in the software development lifecycle for enterprises relying on IBM Z mainframes. Its virtualization capabilities and robust testing features make it an indispensable asset for modern businesses.

In a world where agility, reliability, and security are paramount, IBM Z VTP stands as a beacon, enabling organizations to develop and deploy applications confidently and precisely. Embracing this platform can undoubtedly revolutionize how businesses approach testing and development in the realm of IBM Z mainframes.

With the IBM Z Virtual Test Platform, Royal Cyber empowers organizations to take their mainframe testing to new heights, enabling them to adapt to the evolving digital landscape. Embrace the future of mainframe testing with Royal Cyber and IBM Z Virtual Test Platform. For more information, you can email us at [email protected] or visit

Harini Krishnamurthy

Ready to Take Your Mainframe Testing to the Next Level?

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