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CRN: Interest in Linux on System 390 catches IBM off guard

Apr 23, 2000, 07:30 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Edward F. Moltzen)

"IBM Corp. executives said the computer maker, based here, has been caught off guard by interest in Linux for its System 390 mainframe servers and is scrambling to develop and implement a strategy to leverage Linux's potential. Since December 1999, when IBM began offering free versions of the open-source Linux operating system for its S/390s, more than 1,100 copies have been downloaded. ... IBM has been allowing free downloads of the software from its Web site; the company still has not figured out how to offer it as a salable product."

"Here is how Linux on the S/390 works: Once downloaded from IBM's Web site, Linux is set to operate on a hardware partition on the S/390. Once set up, the Linux partition on the mainframe can operate as its own server. It can work as a Web server, perform some file-and-print functions or other functions that run on a standard Linux server. "

"For some users, however, the idea of old-line, mainframe hardware running new-line, free Linux, which is usually associated with Web development, might seem contradictory. Not so, said David Boyes, principal engineer at Dimension Technologies Inc., a Herndon, Va.-based consultant for service providers and large-scale IP and data centers. ..."

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