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LinuxStockNews: Linux and Mainframes (MAY 29, 2000)

May 29, 2000, 10:48 (0 Talkback[s])

"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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