A quick start

IBM Corp. formally introduced its new generation of Linux-only eServer zSeries mainframes last January at a starting price of about $400,000 for a uniprocessor zSeries 800 Raptor system. The price included the Java Virtual Machine system partitioning technology and three years of maintenance and software services.

A similar configuration for the faster processing zSeries 900 system costs around $750,000.

IBM lists more than 200 Linux applications available from 105 vendors.

According to Peter McCaffrey, director of product marketing in IBM's eServer division, the bulk of mainframe Linux's uptake has been from customers with existing mainframe skills who are looking to leverage their current investment in mainframe systems.

About one-fifth of IBM's current mainframe shipments are Linux-based, and the shipments grew at a rate of 30 percent in the third quarter of this year, compared to the previous quarter, he said.

John Phelps, a vice president and research director for Gartner Inc., said he thinks about 15 percent of all new IBM mainframe shipments are due solely to the company's Linux offering.

About the Author

Brian Robinson is a freelance writer based in Portland, Ore.

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