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Delivering New Linux Applications

Chiphopper helps ISVs port Linux applications beyond x86 hardware.

Chiphopper helps ISVs port Linux applications beyond x86 hardware.

People want choices when they purchase goods and services. Imagine what it would be like if your supermarket's produce section offered apples but not oranges. In the world of computer software, choices abound and the list of choices available on IBM* Systems hardware is growing, thanks in part to the Chiphopper* offering.

Formally known as IBM eServer Application Advantage* for Linux*, Chiphopper has resulted in more than 130 new applications being ported to the IBM System p5*, IBM eServer p5, IBM System i5*, IBM eServer i5, OpenPower*, BladeCenter* JS20, pSeries*, iSeries*, System z9* and zSeries* systems (or a combination thereof). Chiphopper was announced at LinuxWorld in February 2005, with enhancements unveiled at the August LinuxWorld conference. According to IBM, the offering is the IT industry's first combination of support and testing tools designed to deliver on the promise of a cross-platform Linux solution for ISVs.

What is Chiphopper?

Just what is Chiphopper, and how does it help deliver on its promise? An initiative developed in collaboration with Novell and Red Hat, Chiphopper allows ISVs worldwide to enable their Linux applications to operate across the IBM Systems product line, from entry-level x86-based servers, blades and clusters to POWER* technology-based servers to System Storage* solutions to Linux on the mainframe.

The no-charge Chiphopper offering--the name is derived from its capability to allow ISV applications to easily move, or "hop," across various kinds of chips--allows ISVs to easily test, port and support their existing Linux-on-x86 (Intel* or AMD) applications across POWER and zSeries systems.

ISVs can also take advantage of free access to the various hardware platforms to which their products can be ported. This type of access is particularly appealing to the smaller ISVs.

"It would have been too expensive for a small company to test its products on all of the IBM platforms," explains Markus Mayer. "Besides the cost of the hardware--zSeries, iSeries, et cetera--it would take a lot of administration effort to keep all of these machines going and on current versions."

"Linux on x86 is already huge, and the Chiphopper offering will not only increase that market opportunity, but also expand it to additional platforms than what was possible." -Scott Handy, vice president, worldwide Linux

Evelyn Hoover is the content director of IBM Systems magazine. She can be reached at



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