IBM Extends Distributed Computing Reach to the Mainframe

Mike Vizard
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In many organizations, the management of distributed computing systems and mainframes has historically been a conversation roughly equivalent to the dialogue that exists between inhabitants of Venus and Mars. But with more instances of Linux showing up on mainframes, IBM is trying to bring those two diverse worlds more closely together.

To that end, IBM has announced that it is making an instances of OpenStack and its Elastic Storage for Linux available on System z mainframes alongside an implementation of Hadoop and a DB2 query accelerator engine.

Bernie Spang, vice president of strategy for software-defined environments in the IBM Systems and Technology Group, says the end goal is to allow IT organizations to apply the same set of IT policies to both distributed computing and mainframe environments using a common file system in order to reduce the total cost of IT.

Spang says the rise of more diverse types of application workloads that span everything from Big Data analytics to mobile computing is forcing the convergence issue. Customers increasingly need to be able to converge transaction processing and analytics in a way that drives actionable, real-time insights. As such, Spang says IBM is investing in making Linux environments running on mainframes more robust from a IT management perspective.

No matter how venerable zOS is as the primary operating system running on mainframes, usage of Linux on mainframe environments has grown sharply over the last several years. In fact, it may have finally reached a point where Mars (zOs) can simply no longer ignore the presence of Venus (Linux), because like it or not the two are increasingly now competing for space on the same platform.

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