Archives of linuxvm.org
"For one thing, Linux could be made to run on every IBM
platform. But equally as important in Big Blue's strategy is
the realization that if Linux gains enough momentum, it will
derail Sun's position with Solaris and level the playing field
in Unix servers. At that point, it's merely a question of choosing
your hardware, and IBM can throw a big array of Linux servers
at any business problem - everything from a mainframe to a
Netfinity PC using standard Intel components."
"IBM has announced the availability of Linux for the
S/390 server as it ships the mainframe system without its native
operating system for the first time. "
"The move merges the openness and flexibility of the
Linux application environment with the scalability, reliability
and security of the S/390 hardware platform, says Greg Burke,
VP of IBM's division for Linux S/390."
"Doug Neilson, systems consultant at IBM Enterprise Servers
division, told silicon.com the move is about deploying the applications
of Linux in the mainframe environment to take advantage of the
reliability of that platform."
"There has been cooperation between the Linux kernel
team and IBM as well, with Alan Cox being a regular participant
on the Linux for S/390 e-mail list at Marist College. The architecture-dependent
features needed to support Linux for S/390 are being merged into
both 2.2.x and 2.3.x kernel trees. "
"With Wednesday's announcement, two independent software
vendors -- Computer Associates and BMC Software -- also committed
their support to IBM's Linux push with plans to develop an array
of software designed to run on the Linux-powered S/390 servers."
"Nonetheless, because the mainframe requires almost no
maintenance and is easy to set up and configure, a single expensive
machine running multiple copies of Linux is more cost-effective
than hundreds of inexpensive boxes running Linux. "
"With the S/390 platform, IBM's mainframe architecture
forms the backbone for business data and transaction servers.
Mission-critical applications for enterprise systems that require
the traditional strength of the S/390 platform - unmatched in
reliability, security, scalability and availability - can operate
on SuSE Linux for S/390, complemented by other new applications
built to run on Linux. "
"The formal availability of Linux for the S/390 platform
is really a re-vitalization of the S/390 platform and mainframes
in general, said Greg Burke, vice president of Linux for S/390.
"New IBM software products, available later this year,
will provide high-speed connections between Linux applications
and S/390 data, transaction, and messaging services; data management
and web-serving capabilities for Linux applications; Java; and
Tivoli management support. "
"SuSE's HA architect Volker Weigand tells us that in
addition to infrastructure uses such as running Apache or sendmail
servers, he had customers waiting to evaluate it running SAP
R/3. "It's just another platform for us that doesn't require
special treatment" says Weigand. "
"BMC Software will continue to deliver solutions for
Linux for S/390 as the market matures and customer needs change.
BMC Software will announce its future roadmap for its Linux for
S/390 solution at Assurance 2000 Conference on Tuesday, May 23rd."
"According to a company statement, IBM's decision to
provide support for Linux for S/390 is a key element of the company's
application sourcing strategy -- a plan to allow users the freedom
to choose operating systems, middleware and programming languages
that are best suited to their crucial e-business applications."
"Linux on mainframes? Crazier things have happened. Still,
for an operating system that has built its reputation in the
low-cost server market, the jump to big iron offers interesting
evidence of market forces at play. "
"Contrary to common perceptions, OSS development is often
tightly controlled. In addition, the availability of the source
code and the requirement to share modifications promote longer-term
viability, reduce the entry barriers for those offering services
and support, and discourage Balkanization. We recommend that
IS organizations that currently exclude all OSS from their acquisition
plans should reexamine this policy."
"According to Betzler, a major advantage of Linux on
S/390 is the access that mainframe users will have to the applications
being written for Linux. Major software developers like BMC Software,
AG and Computer Associates are supporting the effort with applications
available for Linux for S/390. "
"IBM is donating technology, code, and skills to the
Linux community. In addition to contributing technology to various
open source projects, IBM is focused on ensuring that Linux becomes
a viable enterprise operating system platform capable of running
applications that require high availability and scalability.
Presently, IBM has more software engineers (over 50) engaged
with Linux kernel projects than most, if not all, of the Linux
distributors. An important by-product of IBM's focus on Linux
and the development of Linux for S/390 is the depth of the pool
of software engineers able to contribute in areas of scalability,
reliability, availability and serviceability."
"While mainframes are the heart of many e-businesses,
the ability to port Linux to IBM's System 390 could breed a new
class of applications, while giving many shops extended utilization
of the systems."
"If Linux is going to make it to behind that glass wall
then it will be piggy backing on vendors such as IBM under the
reassuring umbrella of corporate support and maintenance agreements.
Maybe the first live implementation of Linux on the mainframe
will be the turning point."
"IBM bestowed its official seal of approval on Linux
for the S/390 mainframe in May, giving a boost to a platform
that has been in use informally since January of this year. While
IBM's recognition of the port as a fully-supported IBM product
should boost acceptance of Linux S/390, Linux as a mainframe
operating system still has a ways to go before it is widely accepted.
"So think Apache, and web site applications running directly
on the same 99.999 availability box as the transactional systems
that execute the web transactions. (And by the way, IBM mainframe
99.999 is a real deliverable figure, not an unsupported marketing
"In the first in a three-part series on the Linux port
to IBM's S/390, Neale Ferguson introduces the S/390 architecture
and describes the byzantine development of the VM/ESA operating
system. The second installment will examine the technical details
of the port and how it came about. The third part will show Linux
for S/390 in action."
"As Linux grew in popularity, the general population
of computer programmers and administrators became Linux literate.
This was also true in the S/390 world. There was even envy within
the VM community; Linux was developing in the way VM's proponents
had hoped their operating system would grow before IBM's Object
Code Only (OCO) and Object Code Maintained (OCM) policies, both
described in the first part of this series, crippled the community's
ability to contribute. The skill base, the technology, and the
application base within the Linux world are all highly attractive
to any organization that wishes to keep growing."
"So far, many of the mainframe users appear to be just
kicking the tires. The Toronto Transit Commission, for example,
is evaluating Linux for a number of uses. As part of the evaluation,
Peter Webb, a technical support analyst at the Transit Commission,
has been running Linux on the organization's IBM mainframe, a
Multiprise 2003-225, since January 2000. Webb hopes his test
system will encourage the Transit Commission to consider the
mainframe as a platform for Linux. "
"The most dramatic example of Linux's move up the enterprise
food chain is the debut earlier this year of Linux for IBM's
System 390 mainframes. With IBM's blessing and support, corporate
IT departments can now run Linux apps on their big iron, using
the available mainframe processing cycles even more cost-efficiently
to meet the company's e-business requirements."
"In the final article of this three-part series on the
Linux port to IBM's S/390, Neale Ferguson demonstrates Linux
for S/390 in action and describes some of the many applications
that already run on this port. "