IBM Forges Ahead With Linux Plans

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2003-07-30 Print this article Print

SCO's $1 billion lawsuit is not slowing IBM's Linux efforts: Big Blue readies new Linux products, support and services.

The current legal brouhaha between IBM and The SCO Group is not preventing Big Blue from moving forward with its Linux product offerings, support and services. IBM on Wednesday will announce a new server; a DB2 Linux integrated clustering environment; extended Linux support for the Lotus client and server; as well as three key Tivoli offerings. These announcements come ahead of next weeks annual LinuxWorld conference in San Francisco, where executives from Hewlett-Packard Co., Sun Microsystems Inc., Red Hat Inc., IBM and Oracle Corp. will give keynote presentations and more than 150 companies will showcase their Linux and open-source solutions.
IBMs new eServer 325, which includes two Advanced Micro Devices Inc. Opteron processors and is designed to run either the Linux or Windows operating system, can run both 32- and 64-bit applications simultaneously, providing customers with flexibility to effectively manage their business. It will start shipping to customers later this quarter and be generally available in October.
"Customers are going to love the price/performance of this box and are going to deploy it because they want 64-bit technology while still having some of their applications on 32-bit. So the backward compatibility offered is critical to them in making any technology shift. Those two features I think will really drive the box," Scot Handy, the director of Linux software solutions for IBM, told eWEEK on Tuesday. The better price/performance for a single server increases significantly in clusters, so the first customer references for this new server will be seen in big-cluster configurations, he said. As such, IBM is also announcing that it will deliver its DB2 Universal Database for Linux on the eServer 325, providing customers with native access to DB2s 64-bit database environment while providing backward compatibility with existing 32-bit applications. DB2 for Linux is the first commercial database software generally available for the Opteron platform. The DB2 Integrated Cluster Environment, known as DB2 ICE, is a new Linux cluster that scales to support up to 1,000 nodes, deployable at a rate of four nodes an hour. "The real differentiator here is the scalability compared to, say, Oracles 9i RAC, which has a shared disk, shared memory architecture, so they really have trouble with a lot of nodes, and no production configurations beyond eight nodes. Our offering will be supported from two to 1,000 nodes," Handy said. DB2 ICE is available immediately with pricing that starts at $8,700 for a two-node system including DB2 Express, two xSeries x335 eServers, and SuSE Linux Enterprise Linux 8 or Red Hat Advanced Server 2.1. "Dell has been talking about an $18,000 entry point for an offering that does not include the Oracle database," he said. IBM is positioning its DB2 ICE solution aggressively against Oracles 9i RAC solution, Handy said, adding that while Big Blue has offered a clustered solution for Linux since 2000, this is a faster, better, cheaper offering with pretested configurations and ISV support. Next page: IBM extends Linux support for Lotus software.

Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at


Submit a Comment

Loading Comments...
Manage your Newsletters: Login   Register My Newsletters

Rocket Fuel