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IT-Analysis.com: IBM and Linux: The Dinosaurs and the Penguin

Nov 20, 2001, 01:14 (20 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by The Snark)

[ Thanks to Jason G for this link. ]

"Not long ago, commentators were referring to mainframes as dinosaurs, heading for extinction. IBM's mainframe revenues were clearly in decline and high-end Unix servers, including even IBM's own variety, were threatening its existence. Things were looking decidedly grim for the dinosaurs. That was until the dinosaurs did a deal with the Linux penguin. According to popular mythology, this is how it happened.

A group of developers in one of IBM's German Labs decided to run Linux under VM, provoked by a member of the Linux community who wanted to see Linux run everywhere. IBM invented VM, which stands for Virtual Machine, in the 1960s to allow users to test new releases of the operating system without disturbing the current version. It developed over the years and saw a good deal of usage as an operation OS. VM was thus the easiest and fastest way of getting the penguin to run with the dinosaur.

Legend has it that several IBM executives got to know about the Linux project and advised the developers involved to desist. They didn't, it just turned into a skunk works. They got Linux working and demonstrated the running of thousands of Linux instances on the mainframe. Because the educational world became interested, IBM executives changed their minds. Then, IBM looked at the Linux market and decided that it wanted in and suddenly mainframe Linux became part of the strategy."

Complete Story

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