LinuxONE: IBM’s newest Open-Source Linux-only mainframe system

LinuxONE: IBM’s newest Open-Source Linux-only mainframe system

In an age where the concept of mainframes might seem outdated in the face of cloud servers, IBM has introduced two open-source only mainframe servers that run on the Linux OS.

Based on IBM’s z13 mainframe computer, LinuxONE Emperor is a server that can handle massive workloads in a company as it can scale up to 8,000 virtual machines, which is equal to thousands of containers, all in a single Linux system while Rockhopper is aimed at midsized businesses. With this, it will become easier to run technologies and software like Apache Spark Spark, a free information storage framework under development by IBM, MongoDB database, Maria, Posture and Chef etc. IBM will also work with Canonical to offer its Ubuntu open source software on LinuxONE.


IBM acknowledges mainframes as its signature hardware product and one of its biggest money-makers when it comes to hardware products. The company has already confirmed that it will release 250,000 lines of mainframe code to the Linux community and the public under the ongoing Open Mainframe Project where different companies under the project collaborate to build open source tools and technologies for Linux mainframes.  According to Ross Mauri, general manager for IBM Systems, “The Open Mainframe Project gives these customers, vendors and service providers’ one place to come together.”


IBM will also allow users free access to the LinuxOne cloud which was developed as a mainframe simulation too for developing, testing and executing mainframe applications in Linux. Developers using the LinuxOne cloud can also test the compatibility of their mainframe apps with mobile and hybrid cloud apps.



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