RealTime IT News

IBM Hooks SAP to Support eServer zSeries

IBM Corp. continued securing support for its eServer zSeries Thursday by running e-business software giant SAP AG's platform on its Linux-supported database.

The firms believe that by offering mySAP.com on both Linux and z/OS on the zSeries platform, they will offer customers greater flexibility to choose the application server climate that is right for them, whether it be for billing or other secure transactions.

The unflagging reason to choose Linux for mainframes, according to purveyors of the opens-source operating system, is to make processes more secure and faster.

IBM and SAP AG said they hope to deliver the mySAP.com e-business platform on Linux for the IBM eServer zSeries with shipment to first customers in the second quarter of 2001. This announcement comes one week after it raised the curtain on a portfolio of Linux-enabled storage products.

"The early support of mySAP.com on Linux was a major breakthrough for Linux in the enterprise solutions space" says Dirk Hohndel, Chief Technology Officer SuSE Linux AG. "Now, mySAP.com on Linux for IBM eServer zSeries proves the viability of Linux on multiple hardware platforms."

SuSE's positive comments are understandable seeing as how the firm has released a version for IBM's S/390 mainframes, which became known as the eServer zSeries. SuSE, TurboLinux and RedHat sell software for all of IBM's four major server lines.

IBM began the rebranding to catch up with Sun Microsystem Inc.'s runaway market share in October with the release of the z900, a move some analysts said was akin to Big Blue starting from scratch. The industry's consensus seemed to be that throwing out the baby with the bath water is a tough feat to overcome despite IBM's wealth of resources.

IBM still lags in terms of Unix server sales, at least in the U.S., according to figures released by IDC last week. IBM may find comfort in the fact that it ranked tops in the midrange global market for boxes running UNIX, but was still bested by arch rival Sun.

Perhaps the silver lining for IBM, which swore it would pump $1 billion into Linux in the next year, lies in IDC's finding that market for Linux-based servers generated $1.7 billion for the server market last year, up 132 percent from 1999. IDC's Vernon Turner said such statistics may be just what it will take for Microsoft Corp., whose Windows NT and 2000 operating systems have dominated the low-end server arena, to keep an eye on Linux.

Big Blue is toiling away on other fronts than just the eServer line. The giant firm Wednesday unleashed its WebSphere portal server, which helps companies build portals that offer users secure, single point of access for content.

The portal server is a horizontal portal that harnesses the scalability and power of WebSphere Application Server, IBM's kernel for Web-based applications, which was released last week.