IBM announces Linux offerings for the System z mainframe

IBM today announced new Linux offerings for the System z mainframe to help clients run smarter and more efficient data centers that maximize the use of IT resources and reduce energy costs.

For clients currently running a distributed computing environment, IBM’s new Enterprise Linux Server is a standalone system fully dedicated to running the Linux environment. With potential savings of up to 80 percent, the new IBM Enterprise Linux Server provides attractive, off-the-shelf pricing with one of the industry’s most powerful configurations for large-scale data center consolidation on IBM System z.  IBM is also offering a unique "save-as-you-grow" pricing model, in which incremental capacity is priced significantly lower as the configuration size increases.

For current mainframe clients interested in adding Linux workloads, IBM’s new Linux “Solution Edition” delivers an integrated stack of hardware, software and services to virtualize and consolidate workloads on System z.    

Available in Enterprise and Business Class configurations, the new IBM Enterprise Linux Server provides a full array of components to help organizations consolidate hundreds of Linux virtual servers on a single server using IBM’s virtualization technology, known as z/Virtual Machine (z/VM).  z/VM helps clients extend the value of mainframe technology across the enterprise by integrating applications and data while providing high levels of availability and security.

Packaged as a Linux Solution Edition, IBM’s new attractively priced Linux specialty engine allows clients to host more than three times the number of virtual server instances using z/VM versus x86 virtualization alternatives for some workloads.  Customers can add one Linux “specialty engine” to run the equivalent computing capacity of 30 or more virtual x86 images while gaining the flagship System z security, control and availability features.

To date, IBM has announced its initial set of eight System z Solution Editions for data warehousing, application development, disaster recovery, security, electronic payments, SAP applications, Service Oriented Architecture (SOA), and cloud computing.

Today’s announcement also demonstrates continued investment by the industry and IBM in Linux on System z. More than 3,000 of the 6,300 unique applications available on the System z platform are Linux-based. Customer demand also remains strong as evidenced by a 100 percent increase in Linux capacity shipped by IBM from third quarter 2007 to third quarter 2009.  For example, with Red Hat and IBM solutions, BNZ (Bank of New Zealand) significantly reduced its hardware footprint, power consumption, heat and carbon emissions and costs, including an expected 20 percent cost reduction over the life of the platform.   

At the same time, corporate investments in virtualization — creation of multiple virtual servers or storage on a single physical system — have helped cut IT costs. Yet popular virtualization providers do not provide the necessary levels of scalability, security and management in large-scale configurations, where the savings can be substantial. Consolidating on IBM System z can improve application availability and security while significantly lowering IT costs and risks.

“We chose an IBM Enterprise Linux Server running Novell SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for its high reliability, advanced security, extreme scalability and high compute power," said Ernst Bauer, Chief Operating Officer at EFiS Financial Solutions AG in Germany. "Another crucial factor was the energy and power savings. With our implementation partner PROFI Engineering Systems AG, we were able to integrate Green IT as an important part of our strategy. SUSE Linux Enterprise Server on an IBM Enterprise Linux Server provides us with optimal resource utilization, while addressing our critical energy and power costs."

"With 1,300 Linux customers, IBM is responding to strong customer appetite for running Linux on System z with a fully dedicated, standalone Linux server.  Only the Enterprise Linux Server can provide the environment necessary to handle countless workloads securely and with high availability on such a massive scale," said Tom Rosamilia, general manager of System z at IBM. "IBM is also showing the long term economic value of the mainframe.  Our ‘save as you grow’ pricing model shows that as the business requirements get bigger, the cost of computing actually gets less expensive."


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here