LinuxStockNews: Linux and Mainframes (MAY 29, 2000)

“This week, IBM (NYSE: IBM) announced that it had released a
version of Linux for the 390 line of mainframe computers. These
are the “big iron” machines that have been running for years within
Fortune 500 companies who don’t just let any operating system run
on them. IBM placed the code for download on the website and not
long after, 2,000 copies had been downloaded.
At this point,
IBM decided that enough momentum had been gathered and announced
this to the world. This is a great example of how Linux is adding
value to business functions where other systems such as Windows NT
can never go. Back in the 1950’s, mainframes were the only machines
businesses could use for their computing functions and IBM proved
its dominance in this market and this niche made IBM one of the
world’s most powerful companies. This dynasty lasted until the
early 1980’s when networking came into existence as a viable and
affordable technological alternative for all businesses. However,
many of the largest companies still use mainframes such as IBM’s
390 because these computers are so entrenched within their IT
architectures. So many systems have been built around these
mainframes for years that it would simply cost too much to replace
them. To replace the OS on a 390 mainframe therefore is a decision
not to be taken lightly as these computers control the most crucial
operations of the company.”


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