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A history of Innovation and Support for Open Source

The mainframe has been core to many advancements IBM has made, including the strategic move into the open source arena nearly 15 years ago. In 2000, IBM decided to commit $1 billion to Linux and also pledged to help improve the operating system by working within the Linux community. Linux on System z was the first Linux distribution within IBM and since that time IBM has made countless improvements to the mainframe hardware and virtualization technologies to specifically enhance support for Linux workloads.

When you have a mission-critical business environment, you need a strong infrastructure.  The IBM mainframe has the strength to support the most demanding workloads through an array of IBM and partner solutions and services. The deep resources include database and analytics applications such as DB2, Cognos, SPSS, InfoSphere, and Oracle; business applications such as WebSphere Application Server, WebSphere Commerce, and SAP; security and infrastructure services such as WebSphere MQ, WebSphere Message Broker, IBM Integration Bus, and WebSphere Process Server; mobile application hosting with Worklight, and WebSphere Portal; and cloud support with solutions like Cloud Manager with OpenStack, Cloud Ready for Linux on System z, and Cloud Management Suite for System z including Cloud Orchestrator technology.

Pushing the Boundaries for System z Servers and Solutions and Linux

The mainframe continues to embrace new approaches to cloud, analytics, mobility, and security to help customers address business challenges never before thought possible. With Linux we are able to provide the infrastructure necessary to run these key workloads on top. That is the value of the Linux environment to System z customers.

And because we are continually adding support for Linux on System z it is an attractive platform to not only existing System z customers but also new customers who are familiar with Linux but new to the mainframe. These customers understand the value of Linux and open source and they are looking for the best possible platform to run their Linux workloads. They have selected System z because of the capabilities and functionality it provides and its differential advantages that set it apart from other platforms.

For example, to further help clients get more from their data and infrastructure, IBM just recently announced new System z offerings and capabilities, including:

  • A new IBM Enterprise Cloud System, delivering cloud services with the ability to rapidly deploy a trusted, scalable OpenStack-based Linux cloud environment for customers that prefer to run their own cloud platform on a mainframe rather than subscribe to an outside product; and
  • zDoop software, a commercial Hadoop for Linux on System z, developed by Veristorm in conjunction with IBM.

IBM also recently announced the world’s first dedicated System z Linux and Cloud Center of Competency in Beijing, and Nairobi and Johannesburg, to help customers take advantage of Linux and cloud computing solutions on the mainframe and accelerate adoption of Linux on System z.

Customer Adoption of Linux on System z

More than 50% of customers that are new to System z in the last two to three years have chosen Linux on System z.

Examples of customers that have benefited from the combination of System z and Linux include:

  • Banca Carige Group (Banca Carige), one of the largest banks in Italy, has built an analytics environment and a new mobile banking service using IBM software on IBM zEnterprise EC12 mainframes. As a result the company has been able to introduce new customer services meets changing customer demands, and consolidated to a single platform to decrease cost and complexity.
  • Credit Unions System for Brazil (Sicoob), the largest credit union system in Brazil, has created a virtualized Linux landscape running more than 300 production environments on two IBM System z 196 servers, and deployed IBM DB2, IBM InfoSphere DataStage and IBM Cognos software. This has enabled growth of 600% in mobile, 200% in internet, and 60% in in-branch transactions.
  • Nationwide, the number-one provider of public-sector retirement plans and the seventh largest auto insurer in the U.S., has consolidated its distributed server landscape to Linux virtual servers running on IBM System z, creating a multi-platform private cloud optimized for all its different workloads. The journey to a very successful cloud-based solution that reduced power, cooling and floor space requirements by 80% and has saved the company an estimated $46 million to date.

Throughout the past five decades IBM has fueled a steady stream of innovation with the mainframe at the center, and for nearly 15 years much of that development has also been directed at Linux and open source. IBM will continue to support the combination of System z, z/VM virtualization, IBM Wave for z/VM virtualization management, Linux, and other new technologies to help clients exploit emerging opportunities and address complex challenges. After 50 years, we know that that’s what keeps the mainframe young.

For more information on IBM System z and how it is helping customers around the world, go to the IBM Mainframe50 website.