IBM Initiative Pushes Linux for Business

by IBM Press Release

To speed the development of Linux applications that address the unique needs of small- and medium-sized businesses (SMB), IBM introduced the Linux Test Drive for eServer iSeries, which makes available over the Internet a virtual Linux server to help independent software vendors and the Open Source community write and port their applications to Linux on iSeries.

The eServer iSeries uses advanced "partitioning" technology that allows a single physical server to be divided into dozens of virtual servers that can be accessed remotely by software developers around the world.

IBM believes the combination of Linux and the IBM eServer iSeries, with its popularity among SMB customers, can help small businesses consolidate dozens of standalone servers on a single, easy-to-manage, mainframe-class server, reducing cost and complexity. To date, more than 200,000 customers around the world, many of them mid-sized companies, run their businesses on IBM eServer iSeries, choosing it for its security, reliability and low total cost of ownership.

According to IDC, small businesses represent 48% of all Linux server installations. Industry analysts also estimate that small- and medium-sized businesses (up to 1,000 employees) will represent more than 50% of the total server market worldwide by 2004.

H.A. Technical Solutions LLC, a provider of high availability clustering and data replication software, recently ported two of its applications to Linux on eServer iSeries. "The process of moving UNIX and Java applications to Linux on eServer iSeries proved remarkably easy", said LeRoy D. Earl, executive vice president, H.A. Technical Solutions. "We simply installed the software and it ran perfectly."

Software providers can get more information and enroll at the Linux Test Drive web site. Participants can select from SuSE or Turbolinux distributions and can choose between 14-day free access or 30-day access for a nominal fee. The recently announced Red Hat version will be supported on the Test Drive server in January 2002.

IBM eServer iSeries offers mid-sized customers mainframe-class reliability and security. A single iSeries server can support up to 31 separate Linux partitions, allowing businesses to reduce cost and complexity by consolidating multiple workloads onto a single, easy-to-manage server.

Linux Test Drive joins a comprehensive set of Linux software and hardware offerings for SMB. The Small Business Suite for Linux includes DB2 Universal Database, WebSphere Application Server and Lotus Domino. The suite is bundled to deliver all the tools necessary to help customers with messaging and collaboration, productivity, web site creation and design, and data management.

Linux Test Drive builds on the success of Linux and the IBM eServer z900 mainframe in large enterprises. The Linux Community Development System, a program announced earlier this year, provides developers access to their own virtual mainframe running Linux, helping them build new enterprise applications that enable customers to consolidate their distributed servers on a single IBM zSeries mainframe.

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