IBM Pushing Linux Adoption With Announcement Of Ubuntu Mainframes

IBM Pushing Linux Adoption With Announcement Of Ubuntu Mainframes

IBM has announced two Ubuntu mainframes with the goal of pushing the use of Linux-based mainframes. The company also announced a contribution of code to the Linux Foundation's Open Mainframe Project.
(Photo : IBM Systems External Relations | Flickr)

IBM is making a push for Linux-based mainframes, announcing a number of new initiatives that will see a wider distribution of Ubuntu.

The announcement will also see the release of a Linux mainframe called LinuxONE, along with contributions to the mainframe code as part of the "Open Mainframe Project," created by the Linux Foundation.

"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, IBM Systems' senior vice president, in a statement. "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."

According to IBM, the LinuxONE Emperor is able to scale up to a massive 8,000 virtual machines, or tens of thousands of containers. This is quite a bit more than other single Linux systems. The company also unveiled LinuxONE Rockhopper, which is an entry-level mainframe, designed to offer mainframe speed and security to emerging markets for a smaller price-tag.

According to IBM, the LinuxONE systems are the most secure Linux systems on the market, with encryption features being built into both the hardware and software of the system. This encryption is handled by dedicated crypto processors, allowing a company to handle millions of transactions each second.

LinuxONE is partly about the hardware, but software also plays an important role. IBM has enabled a number of key software systems for LinuxONE, including MongoDB, MariaDB, PostgreSQL, Apache Spark, Node.js, and Chef.

The Open Mainframe Project itself is aimed at bringing together members in government, academic and corporate markets to boost the adoption of Linux. To help with this, IBM has announced a contribution to the open-source code for Linux mainframes. IBM will also offer free access to a Linux ONE Developer Cloud, helping developers test out applications without needing to have physical access to a mainframe.

Some may suggest that the use of mainframes is a little outdated, but they are still used quite a bit in things like data centers. Mainframes increasingly anchor corporate analytics and hybrid clouds, IBM notes.Â

Photo: IBM Systems External Relations | Flickr