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10th Anniversary of Linux for the Mainframe: Beginning to Today

Apr 08, 2010, 17:32 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Bill Claybrook)

"2010 marks the 10th anniversary of Linux for the mainframe. Here, Knowledge Center contributor Bill Claybrook delves into the 10-year history of Linux for the mainframe, discussing its first deployments, advantages and appropriate workloads, as well as its current market outlook, cost of ownership and available applications. He also offers advice on how you can determine if Linux for the mainframe is the right choice for your data center's server virtualization project.

"The year was 1999. It was the beginning of Linux for the mainframe. IBM and SUSE (which was later acquired by Novell in 2004) began working on a version of Linux for the mainframe. By 2000, the first enterprise-ready, fully supported version was available: SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for S/390. The first large, important customer was Telia, a Scandinavian telecommunications company. This year, 2010, is the 10th anniversary of Linux for the mainframe. The value propositions for Linux for the mainframe that were important in 2000 are still important today.

"Linux for the mainframe began as two separate projects to port Linux to IBM mainframes. The first effort, the Bigfoot (i370) port, was initiated by Linas Vepstas in August 1998. Vepstas and his coworkers used IBM/370 mainframes at Princeton to do the port. A brief history of the Bigfoot project can be found here and here. The Bigfoot port became stagnant for political, social and market reasons after IBM announced the second port of Linux to mainframes (the Linux for S/390 port)."

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