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IBM unveils Linux-Only mainframe (with video)
Posted on 18-Aug-2015 08:11. | Tags Filed under: News.

IBM has announced an expansion of its mainframe’s strategy of embracing open source-based technologies and open-source communities to provide clients with secure and high performance capabilities.
The company is betting big on open source in the enterprise by unveiling two Linux mainframe servers in a new line called LinuxONE.

LinuxONE is a new portfolio of hardware, software and services solutions, providing two distinct Linux systems for large enterprises and mid-size businesses. LinuxONE Emperor, based on the IBM z13, is the world’s most advanced Linux system with the fastest processor in the industry.

The system is capable of analyzing transactions in “real time” and can be used to help prevent fraud as it is occurring. The system can scale up to 8,000 virtual machines or hundreds of thousands of containers – currently the most of any single Linux system. LinuxONE Rockhopper, an entry into the portfolio, is designed for clients and emerging markets seeking the speed, security and availability of the mainframe but in a smaller package.

IBM’s LinuxONE systems have advanced encryption features built into both the hardware and software to help keep customer data and transactions confidential and secure. Protected-key, available on LinuxONE, provides significantly enhanced security over clear-key technology and offers up-to 28X improved performance over standard secure-key technology.

IBM will enable open source and industry tools and software including Apache Spark, Node.js, MongoDB, MariaDB, PostgreSQL, Chef and Docker on z Systems to provide clients with choice and flexibility for hybrid cloud deployments.

SUSE, which provides Linux distribution for the mainframe, will now support KVM, giving clients a new hypervisor option. Canonical and IBM also announced plans to create an Ubuntu distribution for LinuxONE and z Systems. The collaboration with Canonical brings Ubuntu’s scale-out and cloud expertise to the IBM z Systems platform, further expanding its reach and support.

IBM will also contribute with the single largest amount of mainframe code to open source community. The code includes technology from IBM’s mainframe to help enterprises identify issues and help prevent failures before they happen, help improve performance across platforms and enable better integration with the broader network and cloud.

"Fifteen years ago IBM surprised the industry by putting Linux on the mainframe, and today more than a third of IBM mainframe clients are running Linux,” said Tom Rosamilia, senior vice president, IBM Systems. “We are deepening our commitment to the open source community by combining the best of the open world with the most advanced system in the world in order to help clients embrace new mobile and hybrid cloud workloads. Building on the success of Linux on the mainframe, we continue to push the limits beyond the capabilities of commodity servers that are not designed for security and performance at extreme scale."

Canonical and IBM also announced an initiative to encourage the growth of Ubuntu Linux on z Systems. Canonical plans to distribute Ubuntu for LinuxONE and z Systems, adding a third Linux distribution. SUSE and Red Hat already support distribution. Canonical also plans to support KVM for the mainframe.

“Linux on the mainframe has reached a critical mass such that vendors, users and academia need a neutral forum where they can work together to advance Linux tools and technologies and increase enterprise innovation,” said Jim Zemlin, the Linux Foundation executive director. “The Open Mainframe Project is a direct response to the demands of Linux users and the supporting open source ecosystem to address unique features and requirements built into mainframes for security, availability and performance.”

For developers, IBM is creating the LinuxONE Developer Cloud to provide open access to the development community. The cloud acts as a virtual R&D engine for the creation, testing and piloting of emerging applications including testing linkages to engagement systems, mobile applications and hybrid cloud applications.

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