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TechRepublic: Gartner: IBM's S/390 server joins the Linux revolution

Jul 07, 2000, 17:20 (10 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jim Wells)

"Advocates might argue that the attractions of S/390 as a Linux platform are the S/390's strengths, such as manageability, availability, and security. To get the full benefits of S/390 systems management, however, the system management vendors must also support those initiatives, and Computer Associates International and Tivoli Systems are just in their initial stages of porting their tools. Linux has no workload management capabilities. What vendor is going to step up and get that into the kernel? The types of applications that should be considered include consolidation of large-scale server "farms," or those applications that can exploit the mission-critical aspects of the mainframe."

"When should a user consider running Linux on S/390? Even IBM admits that there are only a couple of situations where it might make sense right now--situations where the Linux application can take advantage of the proximity of the high-powered data/transaction server and the memory bandwidth connection. We expect there could be some use of S/390 as a consolidation platform for "grass roots" applications being turned over to the data center to take advantage of the management skills needed for maturing applications; however, organizations should recognize that running Linux on the S/390's bare iron means that the application will get the benefits of the S/390 hardware but not the OS/390 disciplines."

"Users considering using the S/390 platform as the host for Linux-based applications should take a cautious approach... IBM may view Linux as potentially a disruptive "sea change" technology, but "potentially" is the operative word--how sincere IBM's commitment will be will be driven by the overall success of Linux. Even so, most of IBM's Linux focus will be on other IBM server platforms and appliances. Leading-edge users with excess S/390 capacity may want to pilot applications with a quick return on investment, but they need to be wary of the paucity of system management tools. IBM may want the S/390 to be associated with Linux, but until the Linux application vendors start clamoring for S/390 support, we urge that the buyer beware."

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