IBM is making good progress on its plans to open source key technologies from its AIX-Monterey and S/390 operating systems, the company said this week.
Irving Wladowsky-Berger, vice president of technology and head of IBM's Linux initiatives, said he hoped the first pieces of technology would be made available within the next few months. But he said IBM must first agree with the Linux community as to which technologies they would want to incorporate into the open source operating system.
"We want to work with the Linux community to help make Linux better in areas it is not so strong, such as reliability and scaleability. We will open source limited portions of AIX-Monterey and S390 to help Linux be better," said Irving Wladowsky-Berger, vice president of technology at the enterprise systems group.
IBM is also planning to set up an industry standard application development environment around Linux to help the operating system be the best application development platform from which developers can easily port the applications to a range of different operating systems, added Wladowsky-Berger.
Big Blue is not being too specific about what technologies might be open sourced until negotiations are complete, but IBM representatives said examples of technology that might be useful to Linux could include workload management, systems management, file systems and clustering.
Miles Barel, program director of Unix marketing, said the benefit to IBM would be the business the company could do around a Linux that had better scalability and reliability features. By being an industry standard, anything developed in the future for Linux could be more easily be used elsewhere and could even help bring the variety of different Unix operating systems closer together.
This is something IBM was hoping to achieve with its Monterey project, merging Sco's Unixware and Sequent's Dynix Ptx with its own AIX Unix.
There was also a slew of opportunities in services and application development around Linux, he said.
"AIX will support Linux interfaces by the first half of this year. This should make it as easy as humanly possible to take a Linux application and run it on Monterey," said Wladowsky-Berger.
In the next two weeks IBM will announce some enhancements to the current version of AIX, 4.3.3, which the company said 85 per cent of its AIX customer base had now migrated to. This would include improved workload management and device support. On 14 February IBM will also be giving an update on the progress of the Monterey project.
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