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IBM Announces Linux-Only 'LinuxOne' Mainframes, Open Source Software Contributions

By - Source: IBM
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LinuxOne EmperorLinuxOne Emperor

Linux on the Mainframe is not exactly new. IBM has been putting Linux on the mainframe in one way or another for 15 years. At LinuxCon North America, IBM unveiled new Linux-only mainframes that boast massive increases in the amount of support, coinciding with announcements of large contributions into the open-source community.

LinuxOne, the first two Linux-only mainframes released by IBM, bring support for a wide range of Linux-based applications and operating systems. The two mainframes are appropriately named "Emperor" and "Rockhopper," after varieties of penguins.

LinuxOne can run Apache Spark, Node.js, MongoDB, PostgreSQL and Chef running on SUSE, Redhat and Ubuntu. LinuxOne EmperorLinuxOne Emperor

Jeff Frey, CTO of System Z platforms for IBM, noted the increased interest in Linux on the mainframe as one of the contributing factors in maximizing the company's investment into that community. With as many as 30 percent of the mainframes shipping today running at least some Linux software, Frey noted that it's clearly no longer an afterthought.

"I think that everybody recognizes that Linux is everywhere," said Frey. "It's an amazing thing that's gone on over the last few years where the operating system went from being not quite aligned with the needs of the largest organizations to now being perfectly aligned top-to-bottom with  organizational needs. It now has an equal seat at the table with the other operating systems running on the mainframe."

LinuxOne RockhopperLinuxOne RockhopperIBM isn't on the outside looking in with running Linux on the mainframe. The company has been running Linux on the mainframes used internally almost as long as Linux has been around. With recent software acquisitions Cognos, SPSS Statistical analytics, and CPLEX, one of the first things IBM did was to port the applications, already running on Linux, onto the mainframes.

Accompanying the hardware availability is one of the largest single contributions of code to the open source community. IBM ZAware software, used for performing software analytics and anomaly detection on the mainframe systems, is now being released to the open source community.

Developers hoping to get a closer look at the mainframes and experience them running Ubuntu at scale can register to access the LinuxOne Developer Cloud, a free, virtual research and development engine created to test and pilot emerging applications on the mainframe platform.