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Inter@ctive Week: IBM Hopes To Win With ZSeries Mainframe And Linux

Oct 12, 2000, 18:34 (3 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Charles Babcock)

"A 36-year-old institution, the venerable IBM "Big Iron" mainframe was buried with few tears and no ceremony last week, as IBM announced its replacement server, the zSeries 900. IBM launched the general-purpose computing server with the System 360 in 1964; the current System 390, Generation Six, stands as the last model in a direct line of descendants from that launch."

"The zSeries is not another System 390 mainframe with a coat of marketing frosting, said Pete McCaffrey, IBM's zSeries program director. ... In place of its highly proprietary MVS operating system, the zSeries will run both z/OS and Linux. The Linux move is aimed at online hosting services, such as Internet and applications service providers, as much as enterprise data centers, said William Hurley, an analyst at The Yankee Group. The Linux card will give IBM better footing from which to compete with Sun Microsystems' successful Enterprise 10000 line."

"The S/390 is also able to run Linux, but it is typically run as a guest under a proprietary IBM VM operating system. It may be partitioned into 15 separate Linux servers in that arrangement, McCaffrey said. Under z/OS, no host IBM operating system is needed, and the machine may be partitioned into hundreds or thousands of Linux virtual servers."

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