In the first instance, the IBM pSeries business - that's RS/6000 to you unreconstructed Big Blue partners out there - announced AIX 5L, a release of its Unix OS which includes APIs and header files that allow Linux applications to run on AIX with what it claims is "a simple recompilation". The vendor says customers can combine the flexibility of Linux with the scalability, security, and systems management inherent in AIX.
It also include the AIX Toolbox for Linux Applications, a collection of 200 open source tools and applications.
Commenting on the announcement, Colin Grocock, business development director for IBM's Webserver division, says 97 per cent of Linux installations are on Intel but it would "be wrong for Linux to stay as an OS just in the Intel arena" and AIX5L allows Linux developers to take advantage of high-end systems.
A couple of days later, the iSeries business - formerly known as AS/400 - announced the latest version of its operating system, OS/400 version 5 release 1, which enables customers to run Linux in a partition. "Because we have the ability to split a single processor, you can start small with Linux," says iSeries product marketing manager Ian Jarman. He claims that a simple recompilation of Linux will enable developers and customers to take advantage of the scalability of the PowerPC platform (the processor which runs the p and i Series) and 64-bit performance.
The iSeries announcement also includes the ability to integrate Windows 2000 applications, using an Intel processor. It is also seeking to displace Exchange servers using Domino and iNotes, a programme which allows users to keep their Microsoft Outlook clients while connecting to a Domino server.
Lastly, the IBM xSeries business announced a deal to provide Red Hat Linux-configured servers to customers through its channel "as plug and play e-business application servers". The machines will come in four flavours: Web server, file and print server, firewall server and Internet gateway.