Linux now 11% of IBM MIPS sold
Thu, 24 Jan 2002 21:38:57 -0800
IBM unveils first Linux-only mainframes
ARMONK, N.Y. (Reuters) - International Business Machines Corp. Friday
said it is launching its first mainframe computers that will only run
Linux, saying the alternative operating system is gaining ground as
companies tighten purse-strings in the tough economy.
IBM said the two new machines, the iSeries for small businesses and
the more powerful and costly zSeries, can replace racks of smaller
server computers made by rivals like Dell Computer Corp. and Sun
``This is really a first for IBM. It is the first time we are
introducing new mainframe technology designed for Linux and server
consolidation. This is really the first pure Linux mainframe,'' Peter
McCaffrey, director of product marketing for the machines, said in an
The support for Linux comes as IBM is seeing a resurgence in
mainframe sales. IBM mainframes, large, multi-processer machines,
ruled the computing world in the 1960s and `70s but were usurped by
cheaper PCs and servers.
Yet IBM says the business is once again booming as companies find it
is costly to link dozens or even hundreds of servers together to meet
their corporate networking needs.
The Armonk, New York-based company says its eServer zSeries
mainframes have been the fastest-growing platform in the industry and
the only one to post five consecutive quarters of growth.
IBM has offered Linux as an alternative platform on its mainframes
for some time, and says Linux accounts for 11 percent of the
computing capacity, as measured in millions of instructions per
second, it shipped in its last quarter.
But the new products are its first Linux-only mainframes.
``It (Linux) is becoming an important and growing part of the overall
mainframe business. Many IT organizations are cutting costs, and what
they found is they can use the mainframe to cut costs by sweeping the
floor of the Dell-Intel or Sun-Unix servers,'' McCaffrey said.
The lower-end iSeries could replace up to 15 regular servers and
would cost around $50,000, while the powerful zSeries could replace
hundreds of servers and would cost about $400,000, McCaffrey said. He
said that compares with an average mainframe cost of about $750,000.
The mainframes would also be configured so technicians with little or
no experience on traditional IBM mainframes could easily set them up,
``It does allow us to reach different customer sets and different
audiences that we couldn't reach with traditional full-blown
mainframes,'' McCaffrey said. ``We've really hidden and eliminated
the complexities sometimes associated with that and made it more of a