back to article Attention large Linux workloads

Evidence from users in the real world shows that for large workloads, the mainframe offers power, security, administration licensing and management benefits – but, in an x86 world, many IT departments simply don’t consider running their Linux apps on anything but traditional servers. IBM’s system z platform offers the …


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  1. Eponymous Cowherd

    Shouldn't this be.......

    down the side with the other ads?

    1. mhoneywell

      Re: Shouldn't this be.......

      You should watch it before criticising, I tend to find The Registers webcasts very useful, for either me or my staff.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Shouldn't this be.......

        Hmm, there's something for Hyper-V and a couple of articles from EMC world on the front page at the moment. So while this is obviously a promotion for IBM, and no attempt is made to hide it, it's not singled out.

        As long as there's balance, I can't see anything wrong with that.

        Intel is under pressure, not only from IBM's Z-series and Power systems, but more pertinently from ARM. I expect they'll fight back, but until then the competition are going to make the most of it.

    2. cyberdemon

      Re: Shouldn't this be.......

      "Integrity? We've heard of it."

  2. Anonymous Coward


    When thinking of Linux servers it's easy to think of using old kit rather than something savoury like System-Z platforms. It's is a bit of an ad but none-the-less an interesting topic methinks.

    1. Skoorb
      Thumb Up

      Re: OTOH

      Bull sell a load of IBM like stuff under licence from IBM, including Power/AIX and Mainframe systems. They're also very big into Open Source. Also a company to look at, if only to get a quote to wave at IBM to get a discount.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There's definitely advantages to having a whole bunch of CPUs and shared memory connected together with a speed that a pile of PCs isn't going to get anywhere near. I could think of one big example outside of finance: MMO servers. I'm sure CCP must have all kinds of fun synchronising everything with a SQL server box and whatever else is in their Carbon cluster. One or two big boxes could probably run that whole game.

    And now, amusingly enough, time to shut the browser down and toddle off to the final exam for the Mainframe Computing module. Fingers crossed.

    1. Kebabbert


      "...There's definitely advantages to having a whole bunch of CPUs and shared memory connected together with a speed that a pile of PCs isn't going to get anywhere near. ..."

      Uhm, did you miss that IBM Mainframes have really slow cpus? A high end 8-socket x86 server has similar or more computing power than the biggest IBM Mainframe with 24 cpus.

      Sure, IBM claim they can virtualize 1.500 of the x86 servers on a Mainframe. But if you dig a bit, it turns out that IBM assumes all x86 servers being idle at a few percent, and the Mainframe is 100% loaded. In fact, you can emulate a IBM Mainframe on a laptop using open source "TurboHercules", which allows me to fire up five idling Mainframes on my laptop. But do I claim that my laptop can virtualize five IBM Mainframes? Hell no.

      The same thing when Microsoft claimed that Linux is more expensive than Windows. After I dug a bit, it turned out that MS assumes Linux is running on a small Mainframe costing $1 million, and Windows is running on a PC. No wonder that MS concluded that Linux has worse TCO than Windows.

      BTW, IBM does the same trick when they claim that a POWER7 server can virtualize loads of x86 servers: all x86 servers are old, like 1GHz 256MB RAM PCs, and they all idle.

      Here is the "worlds fastest cpu", according to IBM:

      Which is actually dog slow in comparison to x86.

      Here is a developer that ported Linux to IBM Mainframes so he could compare Linux workloads on x86 and on Mainframes. He concluded that 1 MIPS == 4MHz x86.

      So a 10.000 MIPS Mainframe equals 40 GHz x86. But a 10 core x86 running at 2GHz, gives 20 GHz. Thus, a small 10.000 MIPS Mainframe compares to two x86 cpus with 10 cores.

    2. Skoorb

      MMOs and the like? See the GameFrame:

      Basically a mainframe with a job lot of blades hanging off the side for the CPU intensive bits.

  4. Fehu
    IT Angle

    Holy Grail

    I was told something by the owner of a business I worked for in the 80's and that I've heard echoed a few other times over the years: It really irks business people that they have to deal with all these different OSs on all these different platforms. Why can't there be just one OS that runs on them all?

    Knowing IBM's commitment to bending technology to business needs, I wonder why they haven't jumped all over that.

    1. Lewis

      Re: Holy Grail

      But there is...

    2. wowfood

      Re: Holy Grail

      One OS to rule them all, one OS to find them.

      One OS to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Holy Grail

        BSD works quite nicely on damn near everything here ... Although I'll admit to having Slack S/390 on an LPAR or five ;-)

    3. Lars Silver badge

      Re: Holy Grail

      I think IBM has jumped fairly well all over that, with Linux, during the last + ten years.

  5. Matt Piechota


    I've run Linux on POWER, and it always seems like my damn users always come up with some piece of software that isn't available on anything other than x86.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What many people don't realise is that IBM sells mainframe MIPS for a much lower price if you're running Linux than if you're running traditional mainframe OS & workloads (z/OS or whatever they call it this week). It really can be a low-cost platform for large Linux server farms.

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