IBM tests Linux version for S/390 line of servers

IBM tests Linux version for S/390 line of servers

By Patricia Daukantas

GCN Staff

IBM Corp. has quietly released an experimental version of the Linux open-source operating system for its System/390 enterprise server line.

Between early January and April, the Linux source code for S/390'which is posted at oss.software.ibm.com/developerworks/opensource/linux390/index.html'was downloaded more than 1,200 times, said Mark Shearer, vice president of strategy and marketing for IBM's Enterprise Systems Group.

Linux is an option on other IBM server lines, but no version of the open-source OS for S/390 hardware had been available until this year.

'The response has far exceeded what we expected, because we haven't even announced this as a formal product,' Shearer said.

Multiple tests

IBM is conducting joint studies with several S/390 user sites in hopes of developing Linux applications and middleware. The company also might make the Linux for S/390 version a formal product depending on how the pilots go, Shearer said.

An S/390 server can run both Linux and OS/390 applications simultaneously on separate logical partitions of the drive, he said.

Expected uses of Linux for S/390 include running open-source Apache Web Server freeware, and file and print services, Shearer said.

He said agencies could use it to consolidate multiple servers onto a single hardware box.

'The industry is moving so quickly that we wanted to be on the front of the wave and learn with our users,' Shearer said.

Marist College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., also maintains Web sites for Linux for S/390 at linux390.marist.edu and www.marist.edu/linuxvm/. The pages link to IBM's site.

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