IBM pSeries to Offer Native Linux

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2002-09-17 Print this article Print

IBM will soon introduce new high-end pSeries servers designed to run Linux natively.

IBM will soon introduce new high-end pSeries servers designed to run Linux natively, marking the first time the companys proprietary AIX 5L Unix-based operating system wont be required to run its top-of-the-line servers. Previously, customers could run Linux by partitioning a single system into several virtual servers. However, since Linux was not supported natively, the servers still required customers to use AIX 5L to manage the system. IBM first offered native Linux as an option on its entry-level servers and has since gradually extended the capability toward it high-end systems. The introduction of the new pSeries servers by years end will complete that Linux migration.
Big Blue on Tuesday briefed industry analysts on its plan to deliver Linux on its high-performance eServer pSeries family.
"We plan to offer customers a choice of running Linux and/or AIX 5L on our most powerful servers, beginning with the introduction of a pSeries server equipped with Power 4 microprocessors used in corporations and the worlds largest supercomputers," a spokeswoman confirmed to eWEEK on Tuesday. The new offerings will make IBM the only major Unix vendor to offer high-end servers capable of running Linux natively, she said. Big Blues approach is different from Suns, which has recently begun offering Linux on its entry-level servers but still requires customers to use its proprietary Unix-based Solaris software on its mid- to high-end servers. IBMs news also comes on the eve of the Sun Network conference in San Francisco this week. Scott McNealy, Suns CEO, chairman and president, will use his keynote address on Wednesday to announce its newest initiative, the Sun ONE Linux desktop. IBMs representative said that the pSeries partitioning capabilities, which enable users to run both Linux and AIX 5L on the same machine, offer several advantages over Suns offerings, which only allow users to run either Linux or Solaris.

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


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