Linux mainframe use grows

Windows Server application loads are moving to Virtual Hosts

Linux on mainframes is set to increase as enterprises look to deliver more value from existing IT assets during the recession.

Independent research firm TheInfoPro questioned IT executives and managers from companies with at least $2 billion in annual revenue about their use of the Linux operating system on IBM mainframes.

The CA-sponsored survey revealed that many use or are evaluating Linux integration: 93 percent of respondents projected that their use of IBM's Integrated Facility for Linux (IFL) speciality mainframe processor would increase or remain steady over the course of the next two years. Forty two percent projected their use of the IFL would grow between 21 to 40 percent, and 10 percent projected that it would grow more than 76 percent.

There were two main reasons for this increased use of Linux on the mainframe. Many said the desire to take advantage of computing capacity available on their mainframe's central processors and/or IFLs was an important driver. Secondly, respondents expected Linux on the mainframe would be more cost-effective than other platforms.

Environmental initiatives to consolidate infrastructure was another driver to use Linux.

When asked to rate specific aspects of Linux on the mainframe provided the most benefits, respondents said backup, restore and disaster recovery; the ability to scale to many virtual machines; security; and availability of applications. Scalability received the strongest rating overall.

"Linux on the mainframe is clearly a very attractive platform choice for IT organisations that have to continue scaling the services they deliver to the business, even as their infrastructure budgets are constrained by market uncertainty and competing priorities," said Michael Zinda, senior vice president in CA's mainframe business unit.

"This study shows that customers are very much aware of the unique value that Linux offers on the mainframeand that the mainframe remains an ongoing focus for IT investment."

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Siobhan Chapman

Computerworld UK

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