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In a Roundtable, Distributors Discuss How IBM LinuxONE Enables Flexibility for Users

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The recently announced IBM LinuxONE* systems are designed to give users a flexible open platform, providing Linux without limits. With the LinuxONE family comes many other announcements, including the Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) hypervisor now available on the system and Canonical’s Ubuntu joining Red Hat and SUSE as distributors.

IBM Systems Magazine sat down with John Zannos, vice president, Cloud Alliances and Ecosystem at Canonical; Filipe Miranda, global lead for Red Hat Products on IBM z Systems*; and Michael Miller, vice president of Global Alliances and Marketing at SUSE to find out why IBM’s LinuxONE offerings are the right platforms at the right time.

IBM Systems Magazine:
IBM recently announced LinuxONE Emperor, designed for the enterprise space, and LinuxONE Rockhopper, designed as an entry-level system. How will those offerings affect demand for Linux?
Michael Miller:
LinuxONE signals a commitment by IBM, SUSE and the entire ecosystem to innovate to meet growing demand. Two great examples are KVM and the Open Mainframe Project, where we can continue to foster additional innovations.
John Zannos: These new systems recognize the growing importance of Linux and client interest in leveraging mainframes for their security, performance and availability. IBM and Canonical have clients asking for Ubuntu. The availability of Ubuntu will drive new workloads.
Filipe Miranda: LinuxONE is a game changer. It brings customers the power of choice around Linux distribution, virtualization technology and open-source applications that are relevant to their business.

ISM: How does offering more choice help customers create the right infrastructure?
Miranda:
Red Hat Enterprise Linux is part of the LinuxONE offering so customers can continue to deploy Linux workloads using Red Hat Enterprise Linux with confidence, security, performance and scalability.
Miller: The LinuxONE approach creates a real Linux-oriented choice of technology where customers can pick the hardware infrastructure that’s appropriate for their organization and workloads. With virtualization, customers can use the system’s scale-up capacity to consolidate workloads on a single virtualization and hardware platform, gaining scalability, performance and integration benefits.
Zannos: Ubuntu is recognized as the leading OS on the cloud, building on our deep developer relationships and our strategy to make the transition to cloud easy. Canonical brings this focus to the mainframe with Ubuntu OS, Ubuntu OpenStack and our cloud tools. Juju makes it easy to place an application on the right cloud, VM or container.

ISM: What’s the importance of having the KVM hypervisor available? How does offering more languages, databases and management capabilities help?
Miller:
KVM opens up a whole new ecosystem for application workloads. It gives administrators and developers with Linux skills the capability to leverage Linux to benefit from the strengths of LinuxONE. It’s critical to opening up the ecosystem and providing that range of choice and infrastructure options.
Miranda: Having KVM as an option on LinuxONE can help increase the rate of adoption of Linux. Customers now can run their workloads using KVM to create a virtualization abstraction layer among all platforms.
Zannos: Today’s rapid pace of innovation requires the availability of a broad range of open tools to help clients quickly provide solutions to their own customers. With Ubuntu, we are bringing along our ecosystem, expanding the base of open solutions on LinuxONE further.

Shirley S. Savage is a Maine-based freelance writer. Shirley can be reached at savage.shirley@comcast.net.



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