Sistina, Mainline Team on Linux on the Mainframe

Duo formed an alliance to deliver a Linux-based data-sharing solution for the IBM S/390 and zSeries platforms.

Storage company Sistina Software and solutions provider Mainline Information Systems Inc. have formed an alliance to deliver a Linux-based data-sharing solution for the IBM S/390 and zSeries platforms.

The companies have ported the Sistina Global File System (GFS) to the IBM eServer zSeries platform for the SuSE Linux Enterprise Server. Sistinas GFS is an enterprise-class cluster file system on Linux that enables data-sharing solutions for organizations requiring high performance, scalable and robust storage solutions.

"GFS allows a customer to avoid dead-end architectures by allowing them to incrementally add more compute power and more storage and I/O capacity without having to stop and re-architect the application environment," said Joaquin Ruiz, vice president of product management at Sistina, in an interview.

Running GFS in this environment allows Linux applications that are written and configured to run in a single platform environment to now migrate to this new environment where tens to hundreds of Linux instances can access the same set of data and application configuration files in a shared storage environment, he said.

"We have had strong demand for the beta program, with latent demand from the manufacturing and banking sectors. The product will exit beta in December, at which time we intend to showcase a number of key customers benefiting from this solution," Ruiz said.

Customers who are already using Sistinas cluster file system software in their existing enterprise would not have to change their storage infrastructure as they consolidated outboard servers to the Linux zSeries system, officials said.

"The alliance between Sistina and Mainline adds valuable features to solution stacks based on SuSE Linux Enterprise Server for zSeries," said Holger Dyroff, who heads the U.S. operations of SuSE Linux, in Oakland, Calif.

"Sistina proves its lead in file systems and storage software solutions, such as the Logical Volume Manager, while Mainline adds a critical component to its portfolio of products and services for the SuSE Linux Enterprise Server," he said.

Sistina supports many Linux distributions, including the standard distribution as well as the various commercial distributions like Red Hat and SuSE. In the latest GFS 5.1 release, Sistina has integrated all the patches that required by these large Linux distributors. Sistina also provides the logical volume manager (LVM) component in the standard Linux distribution, which is, in turn, distributed by the major Linux players like Red Hat, SuSE and Sun.

Under the new alliance, Mainline will offer Sistinas software as part of its portfolio of Linux solutions and services. Services include assessment, design, installation, implementation, migration, and porting, along with Linux zSeries support.

"The addition of Sistinas powerful, proven storage infrastructure software eliminates many of our customers storage headaches, by enabling numerous Linux servers to share a single file system. This dramatically decreases the overall total-cost-of-ownership for server migration," said Rick Kearney, CEO and president of Mainline Information Systems, Inc.