IBM, which is seeing a continued resurgence in the mainframe space, is offering new migration services and financial incentives in hopes of luring away some HP and Sun Unix customers. IBM's move comes at a time when its System z mainframe business saw market share growth in the first quarter, and as other vendors, including CA and Unisys, push their mainframe agendas. It also comes as Oracle closes in on its purchase of Sun.
IBM is pushing the momentum it has behind
its mainframe businesses with new services designed to lure away Unix customers
from rivals Hewlett-Packard and Sun Microsystems.
IBM May 29 is announcing new services and
financing to make it easier for businesses to migrate their Unix workloads over
to Linux on the company's System z mainframe systems.
The Server Consolidation and Migration Services offering is designed around
programs that IBM has used internally when
moving its own workloads onto the mainframe as part of larger consolidation
projects, said Karl Freund, vice president for System z strategy and marketing
OEMs all have initiatives under way to lure customers away from their
competitors, and Freund said that the bulk of the growth in IBM's
mainframe business is fueled by organizations that already are System z
customers. IBM has had some success in
migrating customers from both HP and Sun, and is seeing increasing interest
from Sun customers because of the anticipated acquisition
"It was already a strong growth market for us because of the uncertainty
[around Sun's future]," Freund said. "Now the uncertainty is geared up because
of the possible Oracle acquisition."
IBM estimates that more than 150
businesses have moved from competitive systems to IBM's
With enterprises looking to consolidate their data center infrastructures,
some are turning to the mainframe platform, particularly in combination with
Linux, he said. According to IBM, almost
2,800 of the 5,000 unique applications available for the System z platform are
Linux-based, and Linux accounted for about half of the 1,000 or so new and
updated applications created for the IBM
mainframe in 2008. In addition, more than 40 percent of new System z customers
in 2008 installed Linux.
"We're seeing customers really driving a lot of consolidation projects [onto
the mainframe] because they get a rapid return on their investment," Freund
said, touting the mainframe's simplicity, scalability, security and
manageability when compared with more distributed computing environments.
IBM is seeing a lot of Web server,
application server and database workloads getting ported to Linux on the
mainframe, he said.