IBM Has Made Great Strides with its Linux Program in Past Year

By Bill Claybrook

November 3, 2003

During the last week of October I attended the IBM systems Group Fall IT Analyst Update meeting in Rye Brook, NY. As some of you may recall, in December 2002, I published a 35 page Report entitled An Assessment of IBM's Enterprise Linux Strategy [ ] and was somewhat critical of portions of IBM's Linux strategy. Based on the sessions that I attended at the Analyst Update, I find that IBM has made great strides in areas where I was critical --- number of IBM middleware products ported to Linux on eServer platforms, number of ISV applications on Linux on non xSeries platforms, and market for Linux on pSeries servers.

No other systems vendor can equal the degree to which IBM has integrated Linux into its offerings and initiatives --- grid computing, high performance computing, infrastructure simplification, on demand and autonomic computing, etc. IBM's BladeCenter product offers or will soon offer AIX, Linux, and Windows running on blades in the same chassis, and they will provide IA-32, Itanium, Opteron, and POWER blades. This means that shortly, a user can buy a BladeCenter chassis holding 12 blades none of which have the same operating system/architecture combination. I don't expect any user to do this, but it does show the flexibility that IBM is building into its BladeCenter product family. BladeCenter with AIX/POWER blades is a good platform for users who want to migrate from expensive Solaris/SPARC platforms to IBM.

During the next few days, I will be taking a closer look at some of the important portions of IBM's Linux strategy and how they benefit end users. In the next several weeks, I will be updating the Assessment of IBM's Enterprise Linux Strategy report to reflect the significant success that IBM is having with its Linux strategy and Linux marketing programs.

11:11 ET

IBM's Evolving Linux Strategy

By Bill Claybrook

December 2, 2003

One year ago I published an unsponsored assessment of IBM's enterprise Linux strategy [ ]. At that time, I indicated the strengths of IBM's strategy, but also indicated some weaknesses. One of the weaknesses that I cited involved the inconsistent availability of IBM middleware (there are more than 300 IBM middleware products) across Linux-based eServer platforms.

Since the publication of that report in December 2002, IBM has greatly added to the middleware products "ported" to Linux on eServer platforms. For example, in 2002, there were 60 middleware products on xSeries, now there are over 245. There were about 30 middleware products on zSeries, now there are 90. And for pSeries and iSeries servers there are 33 and 27, respectively, compared to only two or three last year.

There are several things to highlight the success of IBM's Linux strategy during 2003. Of these 2003 highlights, I think that this increase in the number of middleware products made available on Linux for eServer platforms is especially significant. IBM's philosophy has been that it will port middleware to Linux as customers demand it. The significant increase in the number of middleware products moved to Linux on eServer platforms in 2003 indicates that there is growing demand for Linux, not just on xSeries and zSeries servers, but on all of IBM's eServer platforms.

The 2003 Assessment of IBM's Enterprise Linux Strategy report will be published later this month.

11:57 ET

Copyright 2003