IBM Harnesses the Power of WebSphere, Linux

Big Blue combines its WebSphere application server, the Linux OS and the Power4 microprocessor in a single offering in an effort to win business away from key competitors.

IBM Wednesday announced a new strategy to win business away from key competitors by combining three technologies: the IBM WebSphere application server, the Linux operating system and the Power4 microprocessor.

Scott Handy, director of worldwide Linux solutions at IBM, said combining the three technologies into a single offering represents a significant opportunity for IBM to tap customers moving their Web-based applications across the enterprise.

"This is a continuation of our Linux momentum where we have a lot of momentum with the WebSphere brand on Linux running on Intel," Handy said. "Now were moving it to our Power architecture onto our eServer pSeries and iSeries machines."

IBM is calling the new offering WebSphere + Linux + Power, and it will become available starting July 15, employing an upgraded version of WebSphere, Version 5.02. IBM will offer the solution in three versions.

"We continue to target Sun [Microsystems Inc.] customers with four-way and eight-way configurations on Linux, and Sun is not addressing that space," Handy said. "This is a 64-bit play with up to eight-way machines, as opposed to Suns Linux offering which is two-way only and 32-bit only," he said.

In addition, Bob Sutor, IBMs director of WebSphere infrastructure software, said the WebSphere programming model demonstrates IBMs commitment to Java as a programming language. "It further demonstrates how all these threads of our strategy are coming together," he said.

IBM also quietly began delivering both its DB2 database and Tivoli security solutions to support the Power processor and Linux over the past few months, Handy said.

The base WebSphere Application Server 5.0.2 for Power and Linux will be available July 15 for $10,000 per processor. WebSphere Application Server 5.0.2 Network Deployment edition also will be available July 15, for $15,000 per processor. And WebSphere Application Server 5.0.2 Enterprise edition will be available July 25 for $30,000 per processor.