Logical Linux partitions on IBMs iSeries can benefit SMBs

Stacey Quandt, a principal analyst at Quandt Analytics, explains how IBM's iSeries, aka the AS/400, reaps the benefits of Linux.

Although the computer industry seems focused on the 64-bit battle between Intels Itanium and AMDs Opteron, a more interesting 64-bit platform to watch is IBMs PowerPC. Of IBMs two PowerPC platforms, the pSeries and iSeries, the latter, formerly known as the AS/400, is the one to watch. The iSeries, in combination with Linux, can drive new levels of productivity for end users.

Today there are more than 400,000 iSeries and AS/400 servers in use by more than 245,000 IBM customers in at least 100 countries. The largest concentration of iSeries and AS/400 customers is in Italy. According to IBM, customers in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa bought 46 percent of all iSeries and AS/400 machines sold.

Since IBM first released them on iSeries in 1999, logical partitions (LPARs) have become a key facilitator for application and hardware consolidation. IBM followed its first LPAR announcement with the introduction of Linux LPARs as an additional consolidation tool in 2001. A Linux LPAR can reduce the maintenance of multiple hardware and software platforms by enabling users to consolidate low-end Linux- and Windows-powered Intel servers. Up to 31 separate Linux environments can be supported on one iSeries server.

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