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Ten years of IBM mainframe Linux

Jun 09, 2010, 04:41 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols)

[ Thanks to Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols for this link. ]

"How things have changed. Back in March 1991 (PDF), Stewart Alsop, venture capitalist and one-time editor-in-chief of InfoWorld, said, "I predict that the last mainframe will be unplugged on March 15, 1996." In 2010, while IBM doesn't break out its profits by individual server line, IBM's systems and technology group, reported 1st quarter revenue of $3.4 billion. While IBM's System z, aka mainframes, revenue fell 17%, a billion bucks or so of business still isn't anything to sneeze at.

"So what happened to give the mainframe a new lease on life? In a word: Linux.

"Back in February 1999, IBM announced it would work with Red Hat to support Linux. By May 2000, Linux moved from being an experiment on mainframes to being a fully supported option. And in 2001, IBM announced it was spending a billion bucks that year on Linux. It wasn't that big an expense; as Bill Zeitler, IBM's senior vice president and group executive for eServer at the time, explained, We've recouped most of it in the first year in sales of software and systems.'"

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