IBM giving Linux stronger wings

IBM Corp., the largest and one of the most fervent advocates of Linux, is working with a grassroots users movement to plant the open-source software more solidly on its mainframes.

Among Big Blue's latest moves:

    * Offering training through IBM Global Services to certify information systems engineers on Red Hat Linux.

    * Planning to roll out products that would let information services staff exploit Linux applications running on mainframes.

Among the software tools will be connectors that tie Linux applications to messaging and database applications on the S/390, as well as a Tivoli Systems Inc. client to manage the backup and storage of data contained in mainframe-based Linux applications.

The announcement means that instead of having racks of servers, companies could put their Linux servers — hundreds or even thousands of them — into partitions, or segments, on one S/390 computer. Running multiple copies of Linux on one machine improves performance and reliability.

"It's a network in a box — in one server on the mainframe as opposed to having external networks and all the issues that they cause," said Greg Burke, vice president of IBM's division for Linux S/390.

The Enterprise Connectors for Linux for S/390 will serve as gateways to provide high-speed links from Linux applications to the S/390-based IBM DB2 database, MQSeries applications messaging and the CICS transaction monitor software. IBM also announced mainframe Linux versions of DB2, the Tivoli management framework and the WebSphere Application Server.

The Enterprise Connectors for Linux for S/390 and the DB2, Tivoli framework, and WebSphere Linux software will be available in the fourth quarter of this year. The release date for the Tivoli Storage Manager Client for Linux for S/390 will be announced later this year. Pricing was not disclosed.

Elinor Abreu of The Industry Standard contributed to this article.

For more information about enterprise networking, go to Network World Fusion. Story copyright 2000 Network World Inc. All rights reserved.

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