Linux on the Mainframe

by Didier de Cock

Linux on the Mainframe

by John Eilert, Maria Eisenhaendler, Dorothea Matthaeus, Ingolf Salm

Prentice Hall

ISBN 0-13-101415-3

$49.99

Two words that guarantee heated discussions at both the business level and the IT level are Linux and mainframe. So, when I saw this title, Linux on the Mainframe, I couldn't resist taking a peak inside. It's actually funny to hear people debate about these two platforms considering that the roots of both operating systems are older than the people who typically discuss it. This fact simply underscores the importance and viability these platforms still have today and will have tomorrow. The authors more than understand the challenges of large IT departments and clearly articulate why the combination of Linux and the Mainframe is stronger than the pieces are apart. This book is a great introduction and reference guide for those who are involved professionally with mainframe technology.

If you're either at a business-decision level or a technical level and are evaluating if you should give Linux on the mainframe a try, this book is for you. Linux purists shouldn't shy away from this book, though, because the authors do a good job of explaining when and why Linux could be used on the Mainframe and when it should stay be used standalone. After a brief introduction on the evolution of both platforms, the authors lay down the building blocks of mainframe architecture.

Readers gradually are exposed to the diversity and complexity of this architecture. Two case studies--an ISP and an on-line store--are woven throughout the book, and they do a good job of keeping the examples in touch with the real-world.

Such topics as server consolidation, security, high availability and virtualization are on most companies' radar screens, and they receive more than adequate attention in this book. The authors also dedicate a good amount of space to explaining and giving direction on system management.

For those tasked with the actual implementation of Linux on the mainframe, this book is an excellent reference and offers all kinds of scenarios, including connecting Linux to the mainframe backend databases and making the most out of HiperSockets. Conclusion: not many books on this topic are available, and the authors should not disappoint most readers. This one is a definite must have for your bookshelf.

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