OpenSolaris Soon to Run on IBM Mainframes

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2007-11-28 Print this article Print

The move will give IBM and Sun more flexibility with companies that are retooling their data centers.

LAS VEGAS-IBM and Sun Microsystems are in the final stages of an 18-month-long project to adapt the OpenSolaris operating system to run optimally on Big Blue's z System mainframes.

David Boyes, president and chief technology officer of Sine Nomine Associates, an Ashburn, Va.-based consultancy that handled most of the integration and migration duties, told eWEEK at the Gartner Data Center Conference 2007 here that the new IBM-tuned version of OpenSolaris will be ready soon. He declined to be more specific.

"Because there are three entities involved here [IBM, Sun, Sine Nomine], it will take a little time to sort through all the fine points, but it's up and running now and we expect it to be ready for [general availability] soon," Boyes said.

Boyes gave eWEEK a private command-line interface demonstration of the enterprise-level system running on a System z mainframe located in West Virginia. The brief demo showed all the nodes that were running, plus all the necessary administrative options, storage capacity and networking information. Then, on the last screen, it showed the Sun OpenSolaris name.

"This project has been in the works for about 18 months," Boyes said. "There are a lot of older Solaris boxes out there that companies are starting to replace. Some are coming back to the mainframe due to power/cooling and cost considerations. All those [administrators] won't have to be retrained in a new OS if they can run a version of Solaris on the mainframes."

Boyes said he knew of at least "30 to 40 customers that are lined up and waiting for this."

IBM has a lot to gain with the addition of another operating system-especially one with the enterprise reputation of Solaris-on its new mainframes.

Sun is working on expanding the hardware options for its software as it looks to boost its software support business. Two weeks ago, Sun and Dell announced that Solaris and OpenSolaris have both been sanctioned for use on all Dell servers.

Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, views and analysis on servers, switches and networking protocols for the enterprise and small businesses.

Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

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