"The level of interest has taken many by surprise,
including IBM itself. "A year ago, honestly, we did not expect it
to take off as it did," says Joann Duguid, IBM's director of
"Linux has been a huge breath of fresh air for the mainframe,"
says Giga Information Group analyst David Mastrobattista. "It's now
politically correct to be talking about mainframes again in the
The interest in Linux on the mainframe has helped boost
mainframe sales, according to both analysts and IBM itself. IBM has
seen double-digit growth for the Z-series mainframe over the last
four quarters, and "attributes a large part of that to Linux," says
Duguid. Mastrobattista says he would not be surprised to see the
use of Linux on the mainframe double this year."