RealTime IT News

IBM Jumps into LinuxWorld with a Bang

IBM , one of the first firms to champion Linux as an enterprise platform, opens LinuxWorld New York this week with a series of new offerings intended to extend the platform's reach into the financial services, insurance and retail industries, among others.

The new offerings span IBM's software and hardware lines, and also include a reference design platform for low-powered devices like smartphones and PDAs.

On the software side, Big Blue unveiled Linux client support for its Lotus iNotes Web Access software, giving end-users the ability to access Lotus-Notes based functions like e-mail, calendaring and scheduling by logging onto the Web. It supports the latest Linux version of Netscape.

IBM is positioning iNotes Web Access to appeal to the financial sector, noting that it will give banking organizations the ability to eliminate the costs of separate, dedicated e-mail systems at branch offices by giving employees secure access to e-mail and calendaring functions.

IBM also raised the curtain on Tivoli System Automation for Linux, a product of its autonomic computing initiative. The product -- which runs on IBM eServer zSeries, pSeries and xSeries platforms -- aims to slash operational complexity and costs with policy-based self-healing capabilities which can identify failing IT clusters and then provide notification and solve the problem.

For hardware, Big Blue continued to deliver on its commitment to deliver integrated Linux solutions across its entire eServer family of products by unleashing eServer Integrated Platform for e-business on zSeries, allowing customers to choose from pre-configured and tested hardware and software packages designed to make building a Linux and mainframe-based e-business a breeze. The packages include:

  • SuSE Linux Enterprise Server for S/390 and zSeries 7
  • z/VM v4.3
  • WebSphere Application Server AE v4.0.4
  • IBM Directory Server (LDAP) v4.1
  • One year of software support and IBM Global Services Linuxline support
  • Optional installation and customization support from IBM Global Services and IBM Global Financing.

IBM produced the eServer Integrated Platform for e-business on eServer xSeries servers last may, and plans to make similar packages available on the eServer pSeries and iSeries later in the year.

The company also unveiled a new version of its Intel-based eServer x345 server, a two-way rack-based server which now offers Intel Xeon processors with speeds up to 2.8GHz. The server also adds support for Intel's 533 MHz front side bus.

Also, IBM introduced eServer p650 with Linux, an addition to the pSeries midrange line which offers native Linux, 2-way 4GB, 4-way 8GB, and 8-way 16GB.

Big Blue also bowed the Speed-start your Linux App for IBM eServer pSeries program, designed to help ISVs and business partners help in creating and porting Linux-based applications to support the new pSeries Linux servers. The program delivers free access to software through the Speed Start your Linux Apps program. Developers who register with the program receive IBM's Software Evaluation Kit for Linux CD, which includes evaluation copies of DB2, WebSphere and Tivoli. It also includes free tech support for the software. In addition, the program offers application development tools including a Web services Development Kit with IBM's Java Virtual Machine technology and 64-bit POWER enabled C/C++ and FORTRAN compilers.

Finally, IBM used Monday as an opportunity to announce its new Linux-based reference platform for low-powered devices. The reference platform is based on the IBM PowerPC 405 LP embedded processor and the recently announced MontaVista Linux Consumer Electronics Edition (CEE) 3.0 version of MontaVista Software's embedded Linux platform. The platform includes new device software, in the form of IBM's WebSphere Everyplace Mobile Device Edition, with tools for handwriting and speech recognition, e-mail, video and databases. IBM said the reference platform will be available in the second quarter.