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IBM Announces First Linux-only Mainframes

Hemos posted more than 12 years ago | from the big-step-up dept.

IBM 218

A reader writes "The new Z-series mainframe for Linux, which costs $400,000 and is aimed at processing transactions at large businesses, is IBM's first mainframe computer sold without IBM's traditional z/OS mainframe operating system. More info at the IBM zSeries page" This is something that IBM and others of Big Iron vendors of *NIX have said - as Linux grows in maturity, they want to replace their *NIX with Linux. However, there's still work to be done in that area.

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218 comments

FP From home (-1)

Tasty Beef Jerky (543576) | more than 12 years ago | (#2900068)

Gotta start the day off right!

Somebody Stole Our Server!! (-1)

cyborg_monkey (150790) | more than 12 years ago | (#2900097)

What's a server?

Re:Somebody Stole Our Server!! (3, Funny)

Arimus (198136) | more than 12 years ago | (#2900121)

Cyborg_monkey
> what's a server?

A person who if you don't tip them when you leave the restraunt the next time you visit will spill soup all over you?

Or the pile of junk in the corner of the office that makes alot of noise, has various people standing over it and muttering dire curse relating to bill gates and all in the computer industry (assuming os = Windows) or in the case of linux... now where did I leave that boot stone-slate as its so rarley needed...

Re:FP From home (-1)

The Lyrics Guy (539223) | more than 12 years ago | (#2900112)

Good morning, TBJ. Hope you slept well and are ready for another day of work.

TSOL - I'm Tired Of Life

I'm tired of looking (It's not in my vision)
I'm tired of seeing (Don't wanna see this)
I'm tired of hearing (Don't tell me your shit)
I'm tired of being (So why am I here?)
I'm tired of life (And all of its jokes)
Imaginary lines (To fool the fools)
Imaginary rules (To live your life by)
And all the worlds' fools
Life is so easy when you're told what to do
Where to work and how to be you
But the jokes wears off and you're still laughing
Caught in your own trap and you're all happy
Too stupid to know it (Just try use your head)
Too stupid to care (You've all been fooled)
Just one voice screaming (???)
Just one in a million (A little speck of flesh)
Who's gonna hear it (Scream till you die)
Who's gonna know it (Your conscience your mind)
Who even cares (No one but yourself)
It's hopeless (You're hopeless)
Because of the process, because of the system,
Because you're still laughing, because you don't listen,
Because of the process, because of the system,
Because you're still laughing, because you don't listen

Re:FP From home (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2900170)

Imagine
John Lennon

Imagine there's no heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today...

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace...

You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world...

You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will live as one

Glad he is dead. (-1)

cyborg_monkey (150790) | more than 12 years ago | (#2900246)

nt

How can you be glad about another person's death? (-1)

Tasty Beef Jerky (543576) | more than 12 years ago | (#2900248)

2000

Re:How can you be glad about another person's deat (-1)

cyborg_monkey (150790) | more than 12 years ago | (#2900290)

It's easy... try it.

For more info a rewarding lifestyle change, visit churchofsatan.com.

Pardon me... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2900346)

but, er... um... FUCK YOU, you turdslapping shitbag...

Re:FP From home (VERY OT) (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2900265)

point:

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can


John Lennon, "Imagine"
---
counterpoint:

"Was it a millionaire who said "imagine no possessions"?
A poor little schoolboy who said "we don't need no lessons"?
The rabid rebel dogs ransack the shampoo shop
The pop princess is downtown shooting up
And if that goddess if fit for burning
The sun will struggle up the world will still keep turning"

Elvis Costello, "The Other Side of Summer"
From the album "Mighty Like a Rose"

Start the day? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2900147)

What the hell are you talking about?

It's Friday afternoon and I'm off to pub in a minute!

Second Post Too? (-1)

Tasty Beef Jerky (543576) | more than 12 years ago | (#2900074)

Indeed!

looks good... (-1, Offtopic)

Arimus (198136) | more than 12 years ago | (#2900075)

One of those in the garage will do nicely thank you...

Wonder how long until someone manages to skrimp enough money together to build a Beowulf cluster of them...

Re:looks good... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2900115)

Imagine
John Lennon

Imagine there's no heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today...

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace...

You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world...

You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will live as one

Rapist! (-1)

The Lyrics Guy (539223) | more than 12 years ago | (#2900148)

Combat 84 - Rapist

He's a dirty and evil man
And no one wants to know
He could be living in your town
The sign of the Rapist doesn't show
Young girls come to me
Stalking victims in the street
When it happens no-one sees
You're just dragged down off your feet

CHORUS
Capital Punishment
A stronger Government

Plastic mask and hairy wig
You're too scared to show your face
You're acting like a dirty pig
You're a cancer of the human race
Filth of society should all die
We need a stronger government
All you gotta do is hang 'em high
We want capital punishment

CHORUS

We need a stronger government
Bring back capital punishment
X4

CHORUS

Hang 'em, hang 'em, hang 'em high
You watch those fucking bastards die
X4

CHORUS

Link to Sourceforge Foundry broken (4, Informative)

blackcat++ (168398) | more than 12 years ago | (#2900077)

The link to the SourceForge Foundry is slightly broken. Correct link is here [sourceforge.net] .

Re:Link to Sourceforge Foundry broken (2)

Chazmati (214538) | more than 12 years ago | (#2900180)

Strange, the "Linux on Large Systems Foundry" link doesn't seem to indicate any problems. Hemos, what work is still to be done? The fact that there is continuing development doesn't surprise me, but don't make it sounds like "Linux isn't ready for the mainframe". The only posting in the scalability forum is "asdfasdf".

On the other hand, this looks like a great portal for Linux on mainframe users, with news and a 'library' of information/links on high-availability, parallel programming, shared memory, and SMP, among other topics.

Re:Link to Sourceforge Foundry broken (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2900186)

Here's another working link :-

Imagine [merseyworld.com]

Imagine there's no heaven,
It's easy if you try,
No hell below us,
Above us only sky,
Imagine all the people
living for today...

Imagine there's no countries,
It isnt hard to do,
Nothing to kill or die for,
No religion too,
Imagine all the people
living life in peace...

Imagine no possesions,
I wonder if you can,
No need for greed or hunger,
A brotherhood of man,
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world...

You may say Im a dreamer,
but Im not the only one,
I hope some day you'll join us,
And the world will live as one.

fuck you and you too (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2900078)

  1. and you aswell.

  2. faggots
  3. s

Jerry Falwell is a faggot (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2900171)

Jerry Falwell is a fascist and a pederast.

Yes 'tis true!

url (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2900081)

Try http://foundries.sourceforge.net/large/ [sourceforge.net]

(Use the Preview Button! Check those URLs! Don't forget the http://!)

HOT SWAPPING!!! (3, Interesting)

Maddog_Delphi97 (173780) | more than 12 years ago | (#2900082)

Does it support Hot Swapping?

I would think hot swapping would be one feature truely worthy of a mainframe operating system... especially if you can all of the different possible parts of a mainframe and still keep all of your applications running 24/7.

Re:HOT SWAPPING!!! (2, Informative)

rhost89 (522547) | more than 12 years ago | (#2900337)

It does support hot swapping via IBM's channel paths. You can vary a channel on/offline and replace the offending piece of hardware. As far as disk drives go, they are all contained in a large DASD hot swapable raid controller (ours support about 4 TB of data at the moment)

Re:HOT SWAPPING!!! (1)

Sobrique (543255) | more than 12 years ago | (#2900339)

Hot swapping is done already, not just on mainframes. After all, database servers/web servers often need 'high' reliablility.
The newer sun kit (I'm thinking their V880) will support hot plug pci power and disks, the E10k will handle hot swap processors and mainboards.(which is why it costs a bit, and sun are willing to _guarantee_ a high availability - about 99.999% I believe)
I believe an RS6000 will cope with this too.
(The Starfire [sun.com] - getting close to a mainframe admittedly :))

FreeBSD for IBM Mainframe (-1, Troll)

Anne Thwacks (531696) | more than 12 years ago | (#2900084)

So when are iBM going to announce that FreeBSD 4.5 is not yet available for mainframes?

Re:FreeBSD for IBM Mainframe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2900237)

iBM? Since when did Apple buy IBM.

Imagine (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2900087)

Imagine
John Lennon

Imagine there's no heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today...

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace...

You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world...

You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will live as one

Re:Imagine (-1)

The Lyrics Guy (539223) | more than 12 years ago | (#2900130)

The Kicker Boys - I Hate Hippies

Every time I go out
What do I see
A billion hippies
Staring right at me

I thought the 60s were over
I thought all hippies were dead
Now it's fucking cool again?
Shithead

I HATE HIPPIES [x 4]

Makes me real mad
Wanna kick some butt
All those god damn wankers
They need a haircut

How can you be so stupid
Why can't you see
The 60s sucked the first time
Why can't you let it be?

I HATE HIPPIES [x 4]

Relative costs? (2, Interesting)

Charles Dodgeson (248492) | more than 12 years ago | (#2900092)

The article cites cost concerns, but how much does using a linux reduce the price of a $400,000 machine? (Cost of ownership may well go down, but I'm asking about purchase price.)

Re:Relative costs? (2)

Chazmati (214538) | more than 12 years ago | (#2900116)

In the article they mention that one of the $400,000 servers can replace 'hundreds of servers' and that their $400k is comparable to an average mainframe cost of $750k.

Re:Relative costs? (3, Insightful)

PoiBoy (525770) | more than 12 years ago | (#2900152)

Perhaps this is true, but $750k for a mainframe still doesn't buy much of anything. My understanding is that to purchase all the hardware for a new mainframe installation will set you back at least $5 million, not including on-going service contracts.

I'm tempted to take this $400k figure with a huge grain of salt. I'm not sure that will get you much of anything except, perhaps, the main CPU box with one or two processors. I'd bet the total cost of installation is much higher.

Re:Relative costs? (2)

Chazmati (214538) | more than 12 years ago | (#2900219)

So if you're spending $5 million for a mainframe installation you'll just piss away $350k on the mainframe? Money is money.

Besides, as others are pointing out, the real savings is in consolidating scores of PC-based servers.

Re:Relative costs? (2)

Fjord (99230) | more than 12 years ago | (#2900376)

Still, it's not like they will reduce the code of the installation because they are saving money on the OS. They cut the price by $350K. In my mind, they could have not cut the price at all, so this is a great step. And $350K to a CFO is 7 people-years (maybe less, probably more). Even if the total bill is $5 million, if s/he knows you could have saved 7 people-years, s/he's going to wonder why you didn't.

Re:Relative costs? (2, Insightful)

blackcat++ (168398) | more than 12 years ago | (#2900125)

Well, the first part of cost savings are not Linux-specific. You just save a bundle :-) by not having to care for 20 different NT/Solaris/etc. servers, but only for one piece of hardware. Using Linux to run the multiple virtual servers saves licensing costs and enables you to hire one of the many Linux admins out there to set them up.

Re:Relative costs? (2, Insightful)

Geeky (90998) | more than 12 years ago | (#2900126)

I don't think it's supposed to reduce the cost of a $400,000 machine, but allow that $400,000 machine to replace 50 $8000 machines.

As for cost of ownership, does the lack of a mainframe OS mean the loss of abilities like being able to back up the entire machine (all the virtual Linux servers) at once? The big win of Linux on mainframe is central management of dozens of virtual servers, plus the fact that each server is completely independent.

I was under the impression that the mainframe OS still played a role in managing the virtual machines. A Linux only mainframe would seem to imply a single system.

Re:Relative costs? (2, Informative)

Snord (44479) | more than 12 years ago | (#2900154)

From the article:

Calling the new machines Linux-only is a bit of a stretch, of course, since the zSeries "Raptor" mainframes and the iSeries Model 820 servers will have z/VM and OS/400 installed on them (respectively) to act as partition managers.

Re:Relative costs? (1)

Geeky (90998) | more than 12 years ago | (#2900183)

Thanks - I missed that critical point. The yahoo page does refer to them as Linux only.

Re:Relative costs? (3, Insightful)

Carl Drougge (222479) | more than 12 years ago | (#2900177)

but how much does using a linux reduce the price of a $400,000 machine?

I don't think it's supposed to. I think it's supposed to make maintaining a workabe OS for the mainframe cheaper for IBM.

Cost Justification (3, Informative)

NeonSpirit (530024) | more than 12 years ago | (#2900225)

Consulting Times has a article [consultingtimes.com] which gives a "real world" cost justification example.

Article here... (3, Insightful)

Juju (1688) | more than 12 years ago | (#2900305)

Here is an article of a company switching it's infrastructure to Linux planning to ditch 70 netfinity servers as well as 500 NT servers in the process. The cost of the 500 NT servers only should cover that of the mainframe.

But most their savings are due to improved scalability and easier maintenance (especially for disaster recovery).

Read the article, all the arguments for the switch are there.
Store chain is sold on Linux [ZDNET] [zdnet.com]

Buy Linux Mainframes from us! (-1, Offtopic)

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Re:Buy Linux Mainframes from us! (-1, Offtopic)

x1l (258922) | more than 12 years ago | (#2900099)

can I use this service to sell dope to kids who use their parents credit cards?

WoW! (-1, Redundant)

oPless (63249) | more than 12 years ago | (#2900098)

Can anyone imaging a beowulf cluster of these?

;-)

(Apologies)

Re:WoW! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2900108)

Imagine
John Lennon

Imagine there's no heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today...

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace...

You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world...

You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will live as one

New York (-1)

The Lyrics Guy (539223) | more than 12 years ago | (#2900159)

The Templars - New York

Through Washington Square, past the pushers and freaks
Down to Bleeker Bob's, where the gang all meets
Passed the trendy shops on Broadway
We make our to the Bowery
Hang out in front of C.B.'s and drink a few beers
And hassle those who've got the nerve to stare
A few bottles thrown and everybody knows
That we've gotta go before the pigs all show

CHORUS :
This is New York City, where the kids rule the streets
New York City's where we wanna be

We always find a show where we can cause trouble
With trendy college kids and Neanderthal bouncers
On the city streets, that's where we get our kicks
Even when it comes down to bottles and bricks
Waiting for the weekend all week long
Waiting for your worries and stress to be gone
There's always someone out to ruin your fun
Like the boys in blue and the hoods with guns

CHORUS

When they know we're coming the shows are over-priced
The beers they serve are piss cup size
Record stores in the Village are just the same
They won't carry our music unless it's priced insane
In a city so big, in a city so diverse
Everybody here wants a big fat purse
We'll still have fun, we'll still have our beer
As you come and go, we'll still be here

CHORUS

Licensing discount? (4, Interesting)

grub (11606) | more than 12 years ago | (#2900100)


(nb: The last IBM big-box I worked on was a first generation AS400 so this question may be dated)
I recall licensing of IBM's OSs to be fairly expensive, have they cut prices at all to reflect the fact that a lot (the bulk?) of the vanilla Linux development happens outside IBM, therefore costing them nothing?

Re:Licensing discount? (4, Interesting)

bmongar (230600) | more than 12 years ago | (#2900144)

I recall licensing of IBM's OSs to be fairly expensive, have they cut prices at all to reflect the fact that a lot (the bulk?) of the vanilla Linux development happens outside IBM, therefore costing them nothing?
Acording to the article the answer seems to be yes. They said the $400,000 linux box was about equal in power to a $750,000 mainfraim. So around $350,000 in OS savings.

More... (4, Informative)

Marcus Brody (320463) | more than 12 years ago | (#2900104)

More coverage from the reg [theregister.co.uk]

Re:More... (1)

raffe (28595) | more than 12 years ago | (#2900252)

A good quote from that article is:

"IBM says that 11% of the mainframe processing power that was shipped in the fourth quarter of 2001 were dedicated to supporting Linux workloads. The impression that one gets from IBM is that if Linux had not been available, mainframe revenues would have declined. "

.

Awww, poor Microsoft (0, Offtopic)

Mario21 (310404) | more than 12 years ago | (#2900117)

Bill must be crying his eyes out right now.

Re:Awww, poor Microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2900128)

Why?

Re:Awww, poor Microsoft (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2900176)

Imagine
John Lennon

Imagine there's no heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today...

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace...

You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world...

You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will live as one

Actually Scott might be... (1)

OSgod (323974) | more than 12 years ago | (#2900187)

but I doubt Bill is. The losers in this are: professional Unix developers and companies that pay their bills by sellign Unix proprietary software.

Eventually it may affect Bill -- after it's killed proprietary Unix development.

Re:Actually Scott might be... (1)

jordan_a (139457) | more than 12 years ago | (#2900223)

Nah, this doesn't hurt proprietary UNIX developers either. The mainframe used to run IBM's UNIX, so all the developer working on that have probably just been moved to the much cooler job of working on linux. This looks like a win-win situation to me, IBM cuts costs by using an existing OS instead of writing and maintaining their own, and customers save money on licensing.

Re:Actually Scott might be... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2900244)

The whole point of this endeavor is to sell IBM hardware to Sun accounts that otherwise would be suspicious of IBM stuff. Sun is an example of a proprietary UNIX developer.

Re:Awww, poor Microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2900253)

No no no. His first name is not Bill it's Scott. Scott McNealy of Sun Microsystems.

No Unixes ran on zSeries before (4, Informative)

Tam-Lin (17972) | more than 12 years ago | (#2900135)

I'd just like to correct something here: they aren't replacing the previous zSeries operating system, they're adding another choice. Now you can choose between z/OS, z/VM, and Linux. While there is something called Unix System Services that run within z/OS, it's not a stand-alone operating system; it's rund under z/OS, not by itself.

And with Linux, you do loose a lot of the RAS characteristics that z/OS provides, as well as 40 years of compatibility with existing workloads. Linux is being sold as something to run new workloads on, workloads that z/OS previously wouldn't have been considered for.

RAS: Reliability, Availability (?), Servicability (1)

jlusk4 (2831) | more than 12 years ago | (#2900353)

24 inches of shelf space devoted to deciphering those amazing IBM diagnostic codes (and other signs of thought put into how the user's going to cope when things wander off the main path).

I always used to sort of sneer at "undecipherable diagnostic codes" and the necessity to look them up. Now I long for the days of sufficiently detailed (RELEVANTLY detailed) diagnostics that I could understand and solve the problem without further futzing around.

Re:No Unixes ran on zSeries before (2)

Znork (31774) | more than 12 years ago | (#2900357)

Yep, and USS was, while UNIX '95 compliant, not what your average Unix admin would call 'Unix' when they used it. From PITA EBCDIC problems to lack of things like ftp (did come later tho).

Your average unix sysadmin is willing to live with logfiles in a slightly non-standard place, and can accept that some OSs' have severe problems getting the erase char right, and has probably given up on getting lvms standardized between OSs' but he's not willing to live with a whole new world of imaginative new ways of being entirely different.

USS felt like it'd been forked off from mainstream unix in the early to mid 80's, spent 15 years in a closet somewhere and then had a programmer with a unix 95 spec thrown in with it a year before release. Almost, but not quite, entirely unlike unix.

Nobody ever got fired for buying IBM (2, Interesting)

kenneth_martens (320269) | more than 12 years ago | (#2900136)

"Nobody ever got fired for buying IBM" has today been replaced with "Nobody ever got fired for buying Microsoft." However, in the case of the IBM iServers and zServers, Linux is replacing a proprietary Unix, not a Microsoft OS.

This is a step forward for Linux (although perhaps a smaller one that at first glance, because you already could get IBM servers with Linux--these are just the first Linux-only servers) but not a step backwards for Microsoft.

That seems to be the trend now, anyway--remember when Amazon said they saved millions of dollars by using Linux? Those Linux systems replaced Unix systems, not Microsoft Windows systems.

Re:Nobody ever got fired for buying IBM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2900199)

If I was your boss and you installed Linux on my mainframe, I'd wouldnt fire you.

I'd kill you.

Re:Nobody ever got fired for buying IBM (-1, Offtopic)

ReluctantBadger (550830) | more than 12 years ago | (#2900331)

+5, Funny.

Truly an inspirational comment and one which made me laugh.

Thank you sir.

NO Z/OS? (1)

pigeon (909) | more than 12 years ago | (#2900138)

I thought Z/OS was the meta OS on which all the VM's where runnning, eacht VM containing a Linux installation. How do they do the controlling of the different VM's? Does Linux for Z series have their own meta/VM controls?

Re:NO Z/OS? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2900191)

No. z/VM is the 'meta-OS'. It's pretty much analagous to VMware in what it can do, in terms of hosting other OSs underneath it.

z/OS is geared at high volume transaction, database, batch processing. it runs either z/VM or more typically natively or in an LPAR.

An LPAR is a 'logical partition', a way of dividing a m/f up into several virtual machines.
for now, these are static and implemented when a partition is 'booted' - IPL'd (initial program load) in m/f terms.

VM on the other hand supports hundreds, even thousands of dynamically generated virutal machines. You can run VM inside an LPAR providing two levels of partitioning. I expect VM and LPAR technologies will converge at some future point.

meanwhile everyhting can talk to each other over 'hipersockets' - memory to memory pipes that looks like a tcp/ip network to your software - blindingly fast

Re:NO Z/OS? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2900203)

Damn it, AC, don't you know you're not allowed to submit informative posts?

Story on ZDNet about Linux + zSeries (4, Informative)

rabalde (86868) | more than 12 years ago | (#2900150)

ZDNet [zdnet.com] have a recent story [zdnet.com] about a company called Boscov's Department Stores [boscovs.com] replacing a lot of NT machines with one IBM zSeries. From the article: "Boscov's, with 36 locations in six states in the mid-Atlantic region, scrapped its client/server architecture and is in the process of consolidating 70 IBM NetFinity 8500 and 500 servers running Windows NT 4.0, on a recently purchased IBM zSeries 900 mainframe running SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 7 as a virtual machine."

I haven't touched an as/400 for years (2)

karb (66692) | more than 12 years ago | (#2900157)

and haven't touched z/os at all ... but was it a 'nix?

Re:I haven't touched an as/400 for years (1)

tao (10867) | more than 12 years ago | (#2900217)

We're not talking about AS/400's (the iSeries), but about the S/390's (the zSeries.) The AS/400 ran an operating-system called OS/400 which was some kind of Database-like operating system. The S/390 has seen quite a lot of different OS:es, MVS, OS/390 (now known as zOS) and some others. There is a Unix-version to be run on the S/390, but afaik not for the AS/400. The AS/400 is pretty special hardware, after all.

Re:I haven't touched an as/400 for years (1)

karb (66692) | more than 12 years ago | (#2900281)

Yeah, I looked something up, and while the zSeries is evidently supposed to supplant the AS/400 (or at least one press release said so), it isn't an immediate replacement. I had been confused, I guess.

Thanks :) I bask in the glow of your superior IBM minicomputer knowledge (bow).

Re:I haven't touched an as/400 for years (1)

tao (10867) | more than 12 years ago | (#2900322)

Sorry for replying to myself, but it seems I forgot to answer your question... No, zOS is not a Unix. zOS is OS/390 for the z900 (which is the 64-bit version of the S/390.)

Re:I haven't touched an as/400 for years (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2900375)

Well, not quite. The AS/400 (now iSeries) hardware is not that special any more. It's basically the same as the RS/6000 powerpc architecture. The iSeries has had a Unix runtime environment called PASE (based on AIX) running in an LPAR for some time now. Of course, Linux runs on the iSeries too, now.

This is great, Big Blue rocks.... (1, Flamebait)

CDWert (450988) | more than 12 years ago | (#2900179)

No matter what you think of this and that IBM makes some killer stuff, the invented and locked down (and subsequently lost) the PC market, they have RULED the mainframe market for 30 years plus, and a fact many may not be aware, IBM has so much cash ammassed, it could cease all sales and continue to operate its current employee base for over 50 years.

There is an OLD addage, noone ever got fired for buying IBM, it has held true for decades as well, Many others have tried and failed to compete with IBM in the mainframe market, BIG companies, that are alas no more, I am sure this is what will happen with HP/Compaq too, Burroughs , Honywell, where are they now ?????

IBM has made some bbbbbaaaaaadddd choices in software on the desktop over the years, but will stick linux to the forefront, they are advertising the hell out of it and this is good, it gives managment a confidence in Linux that would be nearly IMPOSSIBLE to gain elsewhere.

My sincere hope is that IBM contributes what it should to Linux as a whole. Big corporations can be stingy IBM is no exception, I just hope the people there dont think Linux developers will forever develop for their platforms with no return, I hope that they dont se the contributions of linux coders as a "bottomless well" , I dont think this will happen they have contributeed code to other projects, good code. Apache etc....

GO BIG BLUE CRUSH THE MS INFADELS !

I wonder what MS woulda said if Ibm came to them again and said , yeah we need and OS for this mainframe, (MS REPLY. Well we have the blah proccesor liscencing on Windows XP, it .....:)

Re:This is great, Big Blue rocks.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2900211)

IBM nearly went bankrupt in the early 90s. And anyone who can read and would take the time to look up their financial statements knows they do not have that much cash.

Re:This is great, Big Blue rocks.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2900247)

You are correct, I did not say what I meant, well sort of, I meant cash value assets..........

Trolling - I'll bite (2)

Jeppe Salvesen (101622) | more than 12 years ago | (#2900261)

IBM has made some bbbbbaaaaaadddd choices in software on the desktop over the years, but will stick linux to the forefront, they are advertising the hell out of it and this is good, it gives managment a confidence in Linux that would be nearly IMPOSSIBLE to gain elsewhere.

They did not make a bad choice in developing OS/2. They just outdid themselves. The win 3.11 compatibility was probably part of the reason there was so little OS/2 native software available. Microsoft didn't develop for OS/2, and they already had the "standard" for office suites.

OS/2 was (technologically) about 8 years ago where Linux wishes to be in the future. Only it wasn't open sourced and free.

On a low-end pentium they made an OS that would rock your socks with voice recognition, stability and a kick-ass shell. Allegedly, OS/2 scales like a champ if you stick multiple processors in it.

However, the market wasn't there. Why get a new OS to run windows? Now you'd need 2 os licences to run word!

Re:Trolling - I'll bite (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2900350)

The "problem" with OS/2 was it was straddled with a marketing department that was completely clueless about selling software to the microcomputer market. The OS/2 marketing department was a dumping ground for clueless marketing droids. Moreover, any marketing droid with half a clue was transferred out.

Yes, there were problems getting up-to-date hardware drivers for OS/2, but this is IBM, not some fly-by-night software company. If hardware manufacturers had any confidence that OS/2 was a viable alternative to Windows, the drivers would have been available.

Re:This is great, Big Blue rocks.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2900273)

GO BIG BLUE CRUSH THE MS INFADELS !

And it was only so recently that IBM was the big bad Monopoly. How quickly things change.

SHUTUP! SHUTUP! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2900307)

n/t.

there's still work to be done in that area (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2900190)

http://foundries.sourceforge.net/large/"

Yup, sure is!

It's where Linux should stay for now. (1)

copponex (13876) | more than 12 years ago | (#2900195)

This is great news for the poor folk trying to convince their management to use Linux instead of another *nix or Windows NT/2K/whatever. This is also where Linux will stay for the time being, and maybe that's a good thing. When you look at what's required of a server versus a desktop (in terms of stability and performance) I would much rather have Linux prove itself in the server market and then move to the desktop. Think about Windows' Desktop->Server migration - we all know how messy that's turned out. Linux was rarely offered as an installed server option 5 years ago, and today it's replaced an enterprise level OS. My bet is on the same sort of track for the desktop market.

-Dean

aimed at Sun (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2900201)

I like Linux and I think linux will ultimately win over Windows. But this move by IBM is aimed at Sun. All over Sun server shops there are linux desktops and sysadmins coming up who are thoroughly familiar with it. Here's a chance to upgrade to a big iron server that fits right in.

Sun must be sweating bullets.

A step in the right direction... (0, Troll)

gillbates (106458) | more than 12 years ago | (#2900202)

I work on an OS/390 (now the z series) mainframe, and I can say Linux would be a welcome replacement for the ESA/VSE architectures that we are using now.

But IBM still hasn't addressed the central problem with mainframes: In spite of the fact that they can run 16 processors, mainframes are still abysmally slow machines. The average 16 processor mainframe is a 120 MIPS machine, whereas the average 1.5 GHz desktop system is a 3000 MIPS machine. I like the mainframe architecture, but if IBM doesn't do something about the processor speed shortfall soon, mainframes will go the way of the dinosaur. It is becoming increasingly difficult for businesses to justify spending $500,000 for machines that are slower than PC's costing 1/100th of the price.

Granted, the mainframe has a good architecture. But why should my company spend $400,000 for a Linux mainframe, when we could run Linux faster on a $2,000 PC server?

Re:A step in the right direction... (5, Informative)

Amarok.Org (514102) | more than 12 years ago | (#2900254)

Granted, the mainframe has a good architecture. But why should my company spend $400,000 for a Linux mainframe, when we could run Linux faster on a $2,000 PC server?

Architecture is the key. What's the difference between a 120 MIPS mainframe and 3000 MIPS desktop, and why is the 120 MIPS mainframe faster in mainframe type applications?

Architecture. Specifically, things like I/O, process handling, etc.
Don't get me wrong, I'm a strong believer that "desktop" type hardware can compete with the big boys, especially considering the cost diferences and the extra speed, boxes, redundancy, etc that you can buy with all that cash you save. But... there are times when the big mainframe architectures really do have a reason for being.

Just my $.05 (inflation, you know).

Uptime, uptime, uptime (2)

Jeppe Salvesen (101622) | more than 12 years ago | (#2900275)

If a $400.000 server has (virtually) no downtime, and the $2000 server has several hours, that could really make a big difference in the balance sheet.

Not only does downtime mean lost transactions, it could also mean lost customer confidence.

Also, your $2000 estimate is off. A $2000 pc server, WITH a backup unit?

The mainframe CPU is not slow (5, Insightful)

bunyip (17018) | more than 12 years ago | (#2900294)

MIPS = Meaningless Indicator of Processor Speed

The mainframe is MIPS per CPU, so the 16-way box is 16*120. Also, 120 MIPS is slow these days for a mainframe.

Write a simple memory intensive program and try it on a mainframe and try it on a PC. I guarantee that you won't get 3000 MIPS out of a desktop, even if the data fits in cache. Many reasons for this....

The s390 ISA is definitely CISC, you can copy a whole string with MVCL, that count's as one instruction. Do this on RISC machines and it might take a loop and execute dozens of instructions. Hence "Meaningless ..."

About 2 years ago I wrote some C code to recursively quicksort 20M random integers and tried it on a bunch of platforms. A mainframe that was about 1 cycle behind fastest available gave me about the same single processor performance as a 1GHz PC, both a little slower than Alpha.

The big differentiator is memory architecture. How much time do you lose for a cache miss? Most processors only operate at 20-30% of theoretical maximum speed on big problems.

Memory speed has not kept up, that 2GHz box you dream about is not twice as fast as a 1GHz box, particularly if you're crunching a lot of data.

Re:The mainframe CPU is not slow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2900369)

you can copy a whole string with MVCL, that count's as one instruction

It's been a long time since I read the POP manaual but I seem to recall from my days as an MVS sysprog that a loop of MVC's was actually faster for moving long strings than an MVCL. Something to do with the way the instructions were microcoded/pipelined IIRC.

Also as all the instructions are indeed microcoded, what does the 'I' in MIP actually refer to, a s/390 instruction like MVCL or a native microcode instruction? As you said, it's pretty meaningless.

Re:A step in the right direction... (1)

seeesesk (543180) | more than 12 years ago | (#2900371)

Actually, a 16 processor Z series machine is rated at around 2,700 MIPS (2064-116). In fact each engine has a MIP rating of just under 170 in such a configuration as compared to a one engine machine which gives you 250 MIPS. Putting 16 engines in one box produces quite a bit of MP loss.

AS/400 to Linux? (1)

whynot4 (550751) | more than 12 years ago | (#2900204)

Will IBM be making any considerations to those companies who have a lot invested in AS/400's in helping them convert all of their in-house applications to Linux? Or is this going to be used to fill a separate niche?

Re:AS/400 to Linux? (1)

tao (10867) | more than 12 years ago | (#2900256)

Depends on how new AS/400's we're talking about, I think. The older AS/400's will never run Linux; no reasonable MMU. As for converting the applications, well, I'm pretty confident a lot of Linux-hackers would be happy to earn a living on turning old Cobol-code into C/Perl/Python/Befunge/[insert favourite language here]. I don't think IBM will do it, though.

Marketing check (2, Funny)

heroine (1220) | more than 12 years ago | (#2900208)

Is the mainframe wireless? Is it handheld?

Imagine if it was handheld! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2900230)

Imagine
John Lennon

Imagine there's no heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today...

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace...

You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world...

You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will live as one

Stephen King, author, dead at 54 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2900213)


I just heard some sad news on talk radio - Horror/Sci Fi writer Stephen King was found dead in his Maine home this morning. There weren't any more details. I'm sure everyone in the Slashdot community will miss him - even if you didn't enjoy his work, there's no denying his contributions to popular culture. Truly an American icon.

Imagine if he really was dead! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2900242)

Imagine
John Lennon

Imagine there's no heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today...

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace...

You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world...

You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will live as one

Choice is good (1)

f00zbll (526151) | more than 12 years ago | (#2900220)

This is a great bit of news and may go towards making admin lives easier. Rather than have hundreds of intel boxes, like some of the biggest E-comm sites running ASP, JSP, PHP, or Perl, you can now reduce the amount of rack space you have to lease. Trying to manage 20 racks of 1U or 2U rack mount servers can be a pain with NT.

Getting a z series does make some sense in cases where a company could consolidate hundreds of PC's into fewer z series mainframes.

Can it be... (3, Interesting)

Spackler (223562) | more than 12 years ago | (#2900251)

Will this mean that IBM will finally replace OS/2 as the bootstrap and control server?
Replacing that with Linux would be a nice start!

For those that do not have the benifit of a 390 sitting behind them, it is very disconcerting to have that big black IBM monitor on top of it, because it is running OS/2 on a Celeron board inside the mainframe to control the whole show.

Nanotechnology Mainframe (0, Offtopic)

slashpunto (262323) | more than 12 years ago | (#2900259)

If HP would hurry up with the nanotech breakthrough, I could be wearing one of these mainframes on my keychain.

Slashdotted, or is just me? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2900340)

Has IBM been Slashdotted already, or is it just my connection. I'm trying to access the site, no response. Ping, no response. I know the effect can be deadly with smaller sites but this is IBM that we're talking about. Businesses thrive off of them. Besides, this is prime geek sleeping hour, except for the working geek.

I wonder what is the performance like on one of these machines and if a supercomputing cluster of that cost would give more performance in different applications. I am fully aware that with IBM's way, the computer simpler but some people might get better use out of a penguin cluster instead of a single large machine.

OK, I had three hours of sleep and I'll shutup now.

Replace unix with linux? (1)

Peter La Casse (3992) | more than 12 years ago | (#2900359)

This is something that IBM and others of Big Iron vendors of *NIX have said - as Linux grows in maturity, they want to replace their *NIX with Linux.

Have IBM and other big iron vendors actually said this? Of course the linux community speculates about it, and there are good arguments both for and against it, but I am not aware of any official IBM or other source saying "we're phasing out this OS in favor of Linux."

Submission (0, Offtopic)

Syberghost (10557) | more than 12 years ago | (#2900360)

I submitted a story about the FreeBSD release for this, but for some reason [slashdot.org] they won't take it...

Is that wise? (2, Informative)

LiquidPC (306414) | more than 12 years ago | (#2900363)

Not to sound like flamebait, but there have been alot of issues with 2.4 lately, it doesnt really seem stable enough that i'd put it on my mainframe, theoretically speaking. Problems range from fs corruption to sync() bugs, etc. Sure, its a nice desktop OS but I don't think it's ready for the mainframes.
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