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IBM's Newest Mainframe Is All Linux 251

dcblogs writes "IBM has released a new mainframe server that doesn't include its z/OS operating system. This Enterprise Linux Server line supports Red Hat or Suse. The system is packaged with mainframe management and virtualization tools. The minimum processor configuration uses two specialty mainframe processors designed for Linux. IBM wants to go after large multicore x86 Linux servers and believes the $212,000 entry price can do it."
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IBM's Newest Mainframe Is All Linux

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  • Mainframe or Server? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by plasticsquirrel ( 637166 ) on Wednesday December 09, 2009 @10:55PM (#30384424)

    "IBM has released a new mainframe server that doesn't include its z/OS operating system. This Enterprise Linux Server line supports Red Hat or Suse."

    There is a big difference between a mainframe and a high-end server. Why would someone buy a mainframe if they didn't need the reliability and special features of a mainframe? Aren't these really the selling points of the Z-series over the P-series, for example? Usually the P-series and I-series systems are also touted for virtualization, and tend to be less expensive. Can someone distinguish the big difference between these lines now? Traditionally, from what I remember, P-series was AIX, I-Series was AS/400, and Z-series was z/OS and other mainframe OS's. Of course, IBM has been offering Linux on all of them for quite awhile now.

  • by Nefarious Wheel ( 628136 ) on Wednesday December 09, 2009 @11:04PM (#30384486) Journal

    Now maybe all the companies out there who are thinking of wasting money on cloud computing can just buy one of these, and basically have their own in-house cloud.

    Private cloud is flavour of the month it seems. A recent (as in "last month") release from joint venture ACADIA [] (a Cisco+EMC+VMWare+Intel lash-up) shows that packaged private "Cloud" back end server offerings are at least seen as a way people will go.

    I think it's smart packaging myself, four-cab VM building block, just add servers and away you go. And since you're just providing a VM environment, you're not limited in your underlying OS choices. Linux is a good way to go there.

    ~Although the ACADIA system is clearly superior to the IBM offering because (see above link) it can "accelerate customers' ability to increase business agility through greater IT infrastructure flexibility"./~ Gaaaahh!

  • by Nefarious Wheel ( 628136 ) on Wednesday December 09, 2009 @11:14PM (#30384540) Journal

    If your using linux, why bother with vmware at all?

    It's not the environment itself, it's the support stuff. How to manage load balancing a few dozen or even a few hundred servers, what to do with the virtual images you end up with (lots of them. Dedup helps a lot). Server on-boarding VM utilities. Patch management. And do be careful with those DHCP servers, you don't want duplicate address tables.

    It's not just running an OS on top of an OS any more. You gotta manage these virtual servers, and that's where people are willing to pay the extra money.

  • by DigiShaman ( 671371 ) on Wednesday December 09, 2009 @11:17PM (#30384550) Homepage

    but but but, will it run Windows?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 10, 2009 @12:14AM (#30384866)

    IBM sucks. I know, I work for them. If your standard is a help desk staffed by untrained idiots, server support coming from Indians who barely speak english and could care less about anything other than their ticket count, and a consistent effort to make every issue a money issue, then yes, you probably get "excellent" support. I came to IBM in an outsourcing agreement. Before the outsourcing, the IT staff cared about the environment we managed. We wanted things to be done right, and took pride in the work we did. Now, only a skeleton crew of the original employees remain and the rest have been replaced by offshore staff, all at the direction of IBM's upper management determined to put the company and their customers into the poor house while pocketing fat bonuses and exercising stock options funded by the blood of their employees.

    Sam P thinks that offshoring is so wonderful, and offers his employees an opportunity to work in "developing" countries for the "prevailing local wage". If he thinks it's so great, then he should move his fat prick ass out of his comfy house(s) and live there himself. No one in the US would miss him. He could take his fudgepacker buddy Bob Moffat with him and they could steal from the locals to pass the time.

    Now there will undoubtedly be several who respond that I'm just bitter. They will make comments that I'm just a spoiled American, upset that the cheap labor from other geographies is threatening my lifestyle. And to all of them, from the bottom of my heart, FUCK YOU.

  • by Burdell ( 228580 ) on Thursday December 10, 2009 @12:33AM (#30384950)

    Um, in 5.5 months, you've had 15 emails? 5.5 months is about 24 weeks or 120 business days; what are you doing only sending email every week and a half?

    I had an open software case with HP on an AlphaServer/TruCluster issue that lasted a little over a year. I think I sent over 200 email messages about that case (and there were other people involved as well). We had weekly conference call updates, as well as several meetings with various combinations of HP sales, support, engineers, and managers (many from out of state) in our office. Yeah, it sucked, but part of my job as system administrator is to stay on top of our vendors to make sure they are holding up their end of our support contracts. We aren't any big HP or AlphaServer customer (this was a cluster of two ES40s and represented 2/3 of our total installed base of Alphas, and we didn't have any other HP stuff at all), but we kept on them so they knew they had to deliver.

  • by the_womble ( 580291 ) on Thursday December 10, 2009 @12:54AM (#30385064) Homepage Journal

    The fact that so many people make sense of the new names by thinking of them in terms of the old suggests that this was not a great piece of branding. Why did anyone think "we have three distinct product lines with different features and strong brand images within our market, so lets give them all new names, all three of which are nearly the same"

  • by HockeyPuck ( 141947 ) on Thursday December 10, 2009 @01:08AM (#30385142)

    I claim BS.

    1. You're claiming you wouldn't buy another piece of "IBM server equipment" yet you're complaining about the lowest end disk drive array (really just a shelf) they make.
    2. You have no idea what a DS300 is. You claim it's a Fibre SAN device. However, the DS300 is an iSCSI device with RJ45 GigE ports. The DS400 is fibrechannel attached.

    You could have had that shelf RMA'd 10x by now. How about picking up the phone? You do have one of those don't you?

    Try calling 1-800-IBM-FAST next time.

  • by StuartHankins ( 1020819 ) on Thursday December 10, 2009 @01:43AM (#30385268)
    I attended the "Red Hat Virtual Experience" today; their offering seems to have a leg up on the ESX solution. Load balancing is only one of the features. Patch management can be accomplished through Red Hat's web interface, where you build templates and install companywide as desired. I'm getting ready to demo it on our blades to see how it compares. Have you taken a look at it?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 10, 2009 @02:42AM (#30385472)


    In the 80's, when India was a closed/socialist economy, all the developed countries were banging on our door (some directly, some through IMF, World Bank et al.,) to open up our markets. And the local industrialists were pressuring the government not to open up because they were afraid all the multi-nationals would come and put their protected businesses out of business. Finally, India had to do it out of desperation. Now Indian companies and peoples have learnt the game and found the niches where they can make money and now you guys bitch. Yeah, globalization was all good when it's just you make goods and your businesses shove goods on developing countries, but when they learn the game and beat you with their advantages, it's a bitch. It's a two-way street, dude! Learn to live with it, for you have no choice. If every country went back to their protectionist regimes, the american companies would not survive, for their markets are saturated and there is no growth. They depend on the developing countries' markets for growth.

  • by emes ( 240193 ) on Thursday December 10, 2009 @07:07AM (#30386506)

    There are a number of factors which go into this consideration of Linux on the mainframe. I must admit it was really cool when I first learned of it, having had an MP3000 to myself at an IBM training facilty to learn how to bring up VM/ESA and Linux/390(2001). Then I realized a few things like:

    1. Linux cannot take advantage of the advantages of channel-based disk i/o, because it uses Unix i/o approaches which can never be as efficient as the traditional mainframe-based approaches. No one has shown me any evidence that Linux does anything particularly intelligent in its channel program construction and management. Linux assures that IBM can happily sell lots of IFL or general purpose CPUs which are necessary to compensate for this inefficient use of
    mainframe resources.

    2. Managing workloads under zVM can be great and is extremely well refined, but this requires zVM-specific skills which supposedly no one wants to pay for.

    3. For transaction-based work, it's hard to beat TPF/zTPF, but unfortunately that requires some real mainframe skill to implement. And regrettably, zTPF requires Linux and zOS because IBM refuses to convert the programs running on zOS to run on Linux instead. Since TPF/zTPF and zOS both involve onerous monthly licensing charges based on capacity, it's no wonder that TPF/zTPF languish in relative obscurity.

BLISS is ignorance.