SuSE Ships Linux for IBM Mainframe

SuSE Linux shipped SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 7 for 64-bit IBM eServer zSeries, which SuSE claims is the first server operating system to fully support the HiperSockets feature that accelerates the speed of the data transfer between virtual servers in t

SuSE Linux today shipped SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 7 for 64-bit IBM eServer zSeries, which SuSE claims is the first server operating system to fully support the HiperSockets feature that accelerates the speed of the data transfer between virtual servers in the IBM mainframe.

The latest version of the enterprise server also supports the ReiserFS journaling file system, which is efficient for data entities containing large numbers of small files.

"This product also offers improved performance and responsiveness, including more efficient inter-server communication, as well as specific features that are only possible with 64-bit technology like the HiperSocket support and hardware cryptographic support," said Holger Dyroff, who heads SuSEs U.S. operations in Oakland, Calif., in an interview.

Customers using the 64-bit Enterprise Server 7 software would also be able to run their 31- and 32-bit IBM mainframe applications smoothly. "This means that even if users are not yet ready to run 64-bit applications, they can use this product to position themselves for that while still being able to run their existing 32-bit mainframe applications," Dyroff said.

SuSE has received a number of pre-orders for Enterprise Server 7 from companies in the financial sector, Dyroff said. Retailers like Boscovs Department Store and L.L.Bean Inc. are currently using the product, he added.

SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 7 is priced on the basis of zSeries hardware models and the number of processors, starting at $14,500 for a single processor.

Additional features found in Enterprise Server 7 include the easy porting of applications to the mainframe, easy installation and automatic hardware detection, and more than 1,000 business and server applications.

"It also allows large file support, high-speed networking, enhanced RAW I/O support and a rich development environment supporting C, C++, Perl and Fortran. The YaST administration and installation tool enables logical volume manager configuration, server and user administration and multilingual use," Dyroff said.

The software is based on version 2.4.7 of the Linux kernel and includes open SSL, Kerberos 5, the Samba 2.2 server and client as well as the Apache 1.3.19 Web server.

Linux vendor Red Hat Inc. also recently announced the release of its own Advanced Server, but Dyroff said SuSE is not threatened by this move.

"The advantage of open source products is that customers always win as the vendors have to compete with one another to provide the best product with the most advanced features," he said.