With the intention of expanding its server lineup, International Business Machines (IBM), has rolled out a new mainframe system which is specifically designed for Linux, targeting high-end x86 systems.
The new server system, which uses IBM’s specialty Linux processors, will either run on Novell SUSE or Red Hat based systems thereby bypassing the z/OS mainframe operating system.
Instead, the server includes mainframe management software as well as IBM's z/Virtual Machine system which come together to form IBM’s low-cost integrated stacks for mainframe.
Interestingly, the new system is designed to compete directly with large multicore systems used for virtualization consolidation and comes in two models with the lower one costing around $212,000.
The New York-based computer manufacturer has launched the Linux-specific line in an attempt to reduce the cost of its mainframes and had launched the z10 business class model designed specifically to compete with a broader range of enterprise servers.
The System z virtualization lead product planner, Reed Mullen, said that the system was aimed at those companies which want to virtualise a lot of their systems but are not mainframe clients.
Many analysts believe that IBM is constantly working to reduce cost of its mainframe including that of personnel, energy and maintenance the current step is another attempt to achieve the same.
The growth of x86 based systems has been a surprise to many who predicted the demise of the platform years ago after RISC-based systems like PowerPC, MIPS or DEC Alpha were expected to thrive. Ironically, the RISC technology was pushed towards low cost, low power systems instead.