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IBM Strengthens Linux Security on Mainframes

Mike Vizard

IBM at an Open Source Summit North America conference today improved its case for deploying applications on an instance of Linux running on a mainframe. An update to the distribution of Linux that IBM makes available on mainframes, dubbed LinuxONE Emperor II, extends the IBM LinuxONE Secure Service Containers in a way that encrypts data by default in addition to making it impossible for anyone to tamper with an application.

Mark Figley, IBM Director of LinuxONE Offerings, says IBM LinuxONE Secure Service Containers is an instance of a logical partition (LPAR) on a mainframe that allows applications to run in complete isolation from other applications on the same system.

The latest edition of IBM LinuxONE Secure Service Containers automatically encrypts data at rest and in flight. At the same time, Figley says, IBM has removed the command line interface, making it impossible for anyone to access an application other than the developer that deployed it in the first place using either a Web interface or a REST application programming interface (API).

“We’re committed to providing the most secure platform on the planet,” says Figley.

Figley says deploying those applications on a z14 mainframe that can harness as many as 640 5.2Ghz processors also means that IBM is providing developers with access to the fastest platform on the planet.

There’s no doubt that IBM has its work cut out for it when it comes to enticing developers to deploy applications on a mainframe. But for those that do, there are certain undeniable benefits that some 50 years after the invention of the mainframe other platforms have yet to match.


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