IBM officials are aggressively positioning their System z mainframes as strong alternatives to large-scale x86 data centers running Linux. Two new Linux-based mainframes are designed to run thousands of Linux virtual servers on a single physical IBM mainframe. In addition, IBM is rolling out two offerings aimed at making it easier for businesses to consolidate Linux and Chordiant workloads onto the mainframes.
IBM is continuing to push its mainframes
as alternatives to large clusters of virtualized x86 servers.
The company is rolling out two new Linux mainframes aimed at large-scale
consolidation projects, as well as new software and services packages to help
enterprises more easily manage their customer data.
The offerings, announced Dec. 8, come at a time when IBM
has seen its System z business hit hard by the recession and other factors,
with revenue for the mainframes declining by about 26 percent in the third
quarter from the same period last year.
However, IBM officials say Linux
workloads on the System z mainframes are growing. According to the company,
there was a 100 percent increase in Linux capacity shipped by IBM
on the mainframes from the third quarter of 2007 to the third quarter this
Linux is a key part of the new offerings. IBM
is rolling out two new Linux mainframes designed to give businesses an option
for large-scale consolidation projects on Linux. The systems come in Enterprise
and Business Class configurations, and offer such components as z/VM, which is IBM's
virtualization platform for the mainframes.
Using z/VM enables businesses to run hundreds to thousands of Linux virtual
servers on a single physical system, while offering high levels of security and
That kind of availability and scalability doesn't exist in virtualized x86
environments, according to IBM officials.
"IBM is seeing a new market trend for
large-scale server consolidation and bringing more capabilities to the mainframe,"
Tom Rosamilia, general manager of System z at IBM,
said in a statement. "Only the Enterprise Linux Server can provide the
environment necessary to handle countless workloads' security and with high
availability on such a massive scale."
The systems also give users a way to pay for incremental capacity as it
becomes needed, with that capacity priced lower as the configuration size
In addition, IBM is expanding a
it kicked off in June to tailor the mainframes to
specific workloads, such as data warehousing, electronic payments, disaster
recovery, security, SAP applications and
Now IBM is offering systems aimed at
Linux workloads and Chordiant customer relationship management software. The
Chordiant Solution Edition offers users a platform that features z/OS, DB2 and
WebSphere and that is aimed at better managing customer data.
The Enterprise Linux Edition continues IBM's
push to bring more Linux workloads onto the mainframe. Of the 6,300
applications that are unique to the System z portfolio, 3,000 are Linux apps,
according to IBM.