Wednesday, September 23, 2015

IBM’s LinuxONE – Penguins in the Enterprise

By Bill Moran and Rich Ptak

Ever since IBM made a huge ($1 billion) commitment to Linux, its growth on the mainframe has been spectacular. It has a 10-year compound annual growth (CGI) of 45%, as 27% of all shipped mainframe capacity is Linux specific. Linux on the mainframe has penetrated the majority of IBM’s large clients.

Now, Linux is the fastest growing OS in the broader market, and IBM plans to capture a portion of that growth for the mainframe. LinuxONE is their strategy to do so.

What’s the connection between IBM’s new LinuxONE offering and the search for a cure for the deadly disease, ALS[1]? You might say “Nothing” or “Not much,” but that’s wrong. Read on to discover how IBM’s LinuxONE platform plays an important role in the search. But, before discussing IBM’s contribution, let’s review the LinuxONE offering
IBM believes combining the best of Linux with the best of the enterprise computing can be a real winner. They expect the new LinuxONE offerings will appeal to customers already familiar with Linux but who know little about the mainframe. This reasoning appears correct to us with the potential of a very successful system.

We won’t cover all of the details about IBM’s LinuxONE. These are available in the references provided below[2]. Instead, we focus on what we consider the most significant and important features. We also want to explore some humorous side effects of the offering and some problems that IBM may have along the way.

What’s new in the strategy? What difference does it make? First. We’ll look at the new items; then we’ll cover what it all means. The new items by categories are:
1.    Expanded relations with Linux Community
2.    Brand New Cloud offerings
3.    Hardware Systems
4.    Software
5.    Pricing models
These mark a major change in mainframe direction as well as an expansion outside the traditional customer base.

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