A recent survey sponsored by CA indicated that larger enterprises are expecting to invest more money into running Linux applications on mainframes. The results add to the story that the mainframe platform is viable, and dovetail with the message that CA is offering about mainframes, officials say. The survey comes at a time when IBM, Unisys, CA and BMC are making or planning to make investments in their mainframe portfolio, and as Centrify rolls out an identity and access management solution for Linux running on IBM's System z.
CA is continuing the drumbeat of mainframe computing, sponsoring a survey
showing that enterprises are continuing to invest in running Linux on the
CA, which released the results of the survey June 17, found that of the 100
IT professionals at global enterprises contacted, 93 percent said they plan to
either increase the use of IBM's Linux
specialty processing engine on their System z mainframes over the next two
years or maintain the current level of investment.
Forty-two percent said their use of IBM's
IFL (Integrated Facility for Linux) specialty engine will grow between 21
percent and 40 percent, and another 10 percent said that use will grow more
than 76 percent.
The survey backs up much of what CA officials have been touting in their new
Mainframe 2.0 initiative, including that the platform remains a viable option
for businesses looking to increase their computing capacity in a more
"Linux on the mainframe is clearly a very attractive platform choice for IT
organizations that have to continue scaling the services they deliver to the
business, even as their infrastructure budgets are constrained by market
uncertainty and competing priorities," Michael Zinda, senior vice president in
CA's Mainframe Business Unit, said in a statement. "This study shows that
customers are very much aware of the unique value that Linux offers on the
mainframe-and that the mainframe remains an ongoing focus for IT investment."
IBM also is seeing interest in Linux on
the mainframe growing. Last year, MIPS on
System z Linux mainframes jumped 77 percent, with more than 1,300 mainframe
customers using the platform.
CA, IBM and other vendors are increasing
their investments in the platform as well. Over the past six weeks, CA has
upgraded more than 140 of its 166 mainframe management applications, and has enhanced
on the IBM
Unisys in May upgraded
its ClearPath mainframe line
, and officials with BMC
Software have been talking up their mainframe management software. IBM
also is instituting new services and financial offers to entice
users of Unix systems
from Hewlett-Packard and Sun Microsystems to come to
IBM officials announced June 8 that the
company is planning
to roll out
30 enhancements to a variety of software offerings for their
System z portfolio in 2009.
In addition, Centrify, which makes identity and access management software
based on Microsoft's Active Director, on June 17 unveiled Centrify Suite 2008
for Linux on IBM System z.
Initially supporting Novell's SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for System z,
Centrify Suite enables enterprises to centrally control access and manage users
on Linux on System z.
"Linux on IBM System z servers
provides one of the most cost-effective, powerful, resilient platforms for
running massive Linux workloads," Corey Williams, director of product
management for Centrify, said in a statement.
One analyst said that CA officials are making a strong case for the
mainframe with their Mainframe 2.0 arguments.
"The sub-text of CA's announcements ... is that the mainframe is not only here
to stay, but is potentially a critical success factor in achieving the kind of
major reduction of overall IT cost structure needed to survive a brutal
recession," Wayne Kernochan, an analyst with Infostructure Associates, said in
a report released June 10. "In addition, the company is emphasizing that, as a
premier supplier of cross-platform -hub'-architecture administrative software
and a tool vendor ubiquitous in mainframe sites, it can deliver the kind of
automation and efficiency necessary to help large enterprises achieve dramatic