IBM has unveiled new features and capabilities for its LinuxONE family of z Systems based around Linux, adding new data management support in the shape of the Cloudant NoSQL database and the IBM Open Platform, while Ubuntu Linux is set to be available from April.
IBM launched the LinuxONE portfolio last year as its first Linux-only z Systems mainframes, styling them as the most powerful and secure servers of their kind on the market. Available with a choice of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) or Suse Linux Enterprise Server, the portfolio initially comprised the LinuxONE Rockhopper and the more high-end LinuxONE Emperor.
This refresh adds capabilities and ecosystem features aimed at helping customers take advantage of the opportunities for innovation offered by the cloud, IBM said, with a particular focus on the requirements of service providers and small to mid-size businesses.
On the data management side, IBM is bringing its Cloudant non-relational database-as-a-service and StrongLoop technologies, which the firm acquired last year, to the LinuxONE systems. This combination will provide developers with a highly scalable Node.js environment to build server-side applications, IBM said.
Also coming to LinuxONE is the IBM Open Platform, a Hadoop-based platform for big data and analytics that includes other Apache open source tools such as Spark, Ambari and HBase. This is due to be available from March, along with a version of the Open Managed Runtime project for LinuxONE.
"IBM is strengthening its expansion into the open community, providing developers more choice and flexibility with LinuxONE," said Ross Mauri, IBM's general manager for z Systems and LinuxONE.
Meanwhile, the third Linux distribution for LinuxONE that IBM promised last year will be delivered in the shape of Ubuntu Linux, which is set to be available from April. This offers extra choice beyond the RHEL 6 and 7 and Suse Linux 11 and 12 versions currently available.
On the hardware side, the LinuxONE Emperor is based on the z13 that IBM introduced a year ago, which can be configured with up to 141 processor cores and up to 10TB of memory, while the LinuxONE Rockhopper is described as an entry-level system and is based on the slightly older zBC12, featuring up to 20 processor cores and up to 4TB of memory.
This is an upgrade from the original Rockhopper specifications of up to 12 cores and 1.5TB of memory, while the Emperor now features Hipersockets for Linux support to speed communication between partitions on the same system; IBM's Dynamic Partition Manager; and Secure deployment of software virtual appliances.
IBM disclosed that one customer already using LinuxONE to get speedier insights from data is the UK Met Office.
"LinuxONE has enabled our organisation to provide our services to clients based on weather and climate data faster, and today's announcement will enable us to go even further with this life-saving work," said Graham Mallin, executive head of technology for the Met Office.
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