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New software across IBM server line

As IBM celebrates a significant milestone in sales of its flagship mainframe server, Big Blue says it is planning to extend its mainframe virtualisation software across its entire server line.

IBM has sold its 1000th z900 system since its launch less than a year ago to US department store Boscov. But in an exclusive interview with IT Today, Rich Lechner, worldwide vice president for eBusiness on eServers, says the entire IBM server line will soon include mainframe technology. 'We are planning to embed VM virtualisation technology within version 2 of zOS. But before long we should see this extended to both p and x series, Risc and Intel, servers.'

Lechner says technology within the VM operating system has come into its own within the last few years. 'The mainframe has such consolidation value because of VM. It is extremely valuable because companies which run large numbers of servers can instead run 1000s of virtual systems within VM.'

He also claims the Linux experiment is paying off, with 10 per cent of z900 customers using the open source operating system. 'Customers who have never had a mainframe before, are now using it with Linux. In Europe alone, 12 such companies, who have never previously owned a mainframe, are now using one with Linux.

'A year ago, there was still a fair amount of scepticism amongst customers, but today they are turning to it because they see the likes of IBM, and Linux providers such as Suse and Caldera, are providing the necessary mission critical support.'

He went on to say that the recent Sun announcement of its new 15K server and purchase of mainframe hosting technology from Critical Path, is an example of how IBM's rivals are mainframe wannabes, such as HP and Sun.

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