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CRN: S/390 Meets Linux

May 18, 2000, 14:58 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Joseph F. Kovar)

"The formal availability of Linux for the S/390 platform is really a re-vitalization of the S/390 platform and mainframes in general, said Greg Burke, vice president of Linux for S/390. "Three-quarters of the world's data is on mainframes," Burke said. "We have a solution that can let you run Linux from the PC to the mainframe. No other vendor can do that."

"Linux on the S/390 can be implemented in one of three ways. It can be run natively as the primary operating system on an entire S/390. The S/390 can be partitioned into up to 15 logical partitions, each of which can run its own operating system, including Linux. Customers can also run Linux as one of multiple virtual machines in a S/390 using VM/ESA Guest Support. That VM/ESA support is why David Boyes, principal engineer for knowledge transfer services at Dimension Enterprises, Herndon, Va., calls Linux for S/390 a "data center in a can."

"Using VM/ESA, the S/390 can be partitioned into a small number of large Linux systems or a large number of small Linux systems, Boyes said. "We have done 41,400 Linux systems on a single S/390 in a 20-foot-by-20-foot square," he said. "That's not even the full box, but a partition out of another system." Boyes said his goal is to offer 100,000 Linux systems in a single S/390, but he is not sure this is possible. "This puts the S/390 flat in the middle of the Internet, where it belongs. . . . For Internet providers and ASPs, this could be the next generation in server farms," he said. "

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