Wed, December 09, 2009 — Computerworld — IBM has expanded its server lineup with a new mainframe system designed just for Linux that may be aimed, in particular, at higher-end x86 systems.
The new system uses IBM's specialty Linux processor and runs either Novell SUSE or Red Hat systems. It does not use the mainframe operating system z/OS but includes mainframe management software as well as IBM's z/Virtual Machine system. Together, they constitute the company's latest "solutions edition," or what IBM says are lower-cost, integrated stacks for the mainframe.
There are two servers in the Enterprise Linux Server line, and the starting price on the lower-end model, with two processors, is $212,000; it scales up from there. This system is intended to be competitive with large multicore systems used for virtualization consolidation.
The Linux-specific line is IBM's latest effort to reduce the cost of its mainframe. It's high-end z10 Enterprise Class system can cost millions. But several years ago, IBM started producing a smaller model, the z10 Business Class , which was initially offered at about $100,000, to compete with a broader range of enterprise servers.