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ZDNet UK: Alan Cox: What the future holds for Linux

Mar 07, 2002, 20:34 (8 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Matthew Broersma)

[ Thanks to richjones for this link. ]

IBM recently introduced its first dedicated Linux mainframe server. Linux on the mainframe seems to be getting a lot of attention at the moment.
It actually goes back a fair way. It's been around for a year or so. Now it's really starting to take off with this server consolidation thing, and IBM has sort of hit the wave with the blade server people as well. If you can run a thousand copies of Linux on one machine, what are the savings of not having a room full of computers? I think they just have been at the right place at the right time in a sense. They've got hardware which is very fault-tolerant and they can ship it now while everyone else is very much -- all the PC style hardware doing this is very new.

IBM is spending a lot of money promoting its Linux plans. Do you see any problem with IBM integrating Linux into its corporate strategy?
There are one or two points of friction for IBM. Certain drivers for the S/390 (mainframe) are closed source, which has proved problematic for customers, because they can't upgrade to the versions of the kernel they want, because they can't get the right drivers from IBM. On the whole, though, I think it would be fair to say that IBM have been extremely good citizens of the open source world, they've contributed a lot of very, very good code. I don't think that's a big issue, just this one S/390 issue.

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