What comes to your mind when you hear about business with IBM? I think big companies, big budgets, mission critical companies. There’s a reason IBM mainframes have been around for decades. It’s not because all sorts of organizations, from the federal government to banks, love Big Blue. No, because IT organizations know that applications running on IBM systems will run. and run. and run. Not only that, but it runs fast and solid.

Cost is another reason IBM is deployed in the largest enterprises and government agencies. Organizations that need more performance, scale, reliability, and security are willing to pay a premium.

When IBM introduced the LinuxONE platform a few years ago, it offered a solution for running Linux natively (or virtually) on a trusted mainframe architecture. Since then, the platform has been deployed as the foundation of cloud-native environments for some very large IBM customers.

With the latest release of LinuxONE, IBM LinuxONE Rockhopper 4, the company appears to have set its sights on enabling smaller organizations to take advantage of IBM technology. how is this done? And does it work? This article will answer these questions and more.

On the other hand, if you want to learn more about IBM LinuxONE, you can read my research paper here.

what was announced?

The Rockhopper 4 platform can be deployed in either a single frame (the IBM version of the rack) or a standard data center server rack (42U x 19 inches). Either way, it’s pre-populated and configured for your customer. For those wondering why IBM didn’t design their own frames to be the same size as standard racks, long before IBM was called a data center and long before x86 servers, servers for data centers Remember, we were building a platform. existed.

IBM’s ability to provide a platform that can coexist in the same rack as x86 servers today is a smart move. The company understands their customers’ environments and makes their technology easier to use. In addition, there is something symbolic about this deployment model. In short, the barriers between x86 and non-x86 technologies are disappearing in this cloud-native world. Instead of relying on siled computing environments, data centers can now host a variety of platforms for application and database environments without being bound by CPU architecture affinities.

What is the significance of this launch?

With the addition of LinuxONE Rockhopper 4 and Rockhopper 4 Rack Mount, IBM spans all market segments, from IT organizations standardized on x86 to large enterprises that have invested heavily in IBM to power and protect their business You’ve got a cloud-native platform. And there are many of these companies. Did you know that nearly 70% of global transactions (measured in money) are on IBM Z or IBM LinuxONE?

IBM doesn’t say much, but the Rockhopper 4 launch feels like an expansion of the Total Addressable Market (TAM). In particular, the Rockhopper 4 rackmount allows IBM personnel and channel partners to step into his non-IBM organization and market LinuxONE as a high-performance, high-scalability, high-security cloud-native platform. What’s even better is that you can do this without heavy lifting, without special power requirements or the need to rebuild your application.

Why deploy IBM LinuxONE in your x86 data center?

Can LinuxONE run in a data center dominated by x86 servers? The short answer is yes. The bigger problem is why Should your IT department consider deploying Rockhopper 4 for cloud-native applications? To answer that, let’s dig a little deeper.

Disclaimer: I have never implemented IBM technology in my own IT career. But from my point of view today, he has three reasons why IT executives want to deploy his LinuxONE.Initially Predictable performance that scalesWhether you have one MongoDB-driven app or that app is running alongside Oracle, Db2, and other workloads, LinuxONE allows you to run all these applications consistently. increase. These servers are designed to run at 80% sustained utilization. By comparison, putting that load on an x86 server would quickly lead to performance problems.

The second reason is related to the above. On LinuxONE, do more with lessIBM has test results showing that its Telum processor-powered LinuxONE Emperor 4 system can do the work of up to 2,000 x86 cores. Lockhopper? “just” does the work of about 1,440 x86 cores. The Linux core that powers these servers is a performance beast, allowing IT organizations to put more workload on fewer servers to meet service level agreements (SLAs).

In effect, IT has fewer servers to manage (a good thing) and fewer cores are required for mission-critical workloads, resulting in lower software licensing costs (a good thing). ). Considering the “per core” licensing of many commercial database systems, and the ability of LinuxONE cores to perform significantly better than x86 cores, the economics are very compelling.

A third reason to consider LinuxONE? ResilienceThis means you can come home from work every night knowing your data is available thanks to the fault tolerance and security built into the LinuxONE platform. There’s a reason IBM mainframes have been designed and manufactured since 1952. And there’s a reason why organizations that care about data availability and privacy continue to invest heavily in IBM technology. Because IBM servers can’t crash and can’t be hacked. Ultimately, it matters to IT executives.

After reading the above, you might think I’m suggesting LinuxONE Rockhopper as a replacement for existing x86 servers in your data center. I’m not But IBM’s new offering is definitely a strong complement to what you’re already doing.

If I were an IT executive in today’s digital world, I would initially look at LinuxONE as a deployment target for the business-critical workloads that power my organization. These applications require high performance and 99.9999% availability. Once we started realizing the benefits of using this platform, we were expanding our footprint in the data center.

What IBM needs for broad adoption of LinuxONE

IBM is the winner with LinuxONE. LinuxONE Rockhopper also makes it easier for traditional x86 shops to adopt LinuxONE. So should we expect adoption rates to skyrocket in the coming quarters? If life were this simple?

LinuxONE has a lot of potential, but IBM needs to work aggressively to realize that potential. IBM has historically been conservative in positioning and selling its technology. (As an example, I’m thinking specifically about the zSystems platform.) The company’s approach is to expand its footprint in existing customer data centers and market to organizations that need enhanced security and reliability. , is to expand the customer base.

With LinuxONE, IBM has doubled down on this strategy by making existing customers the platform first. So when existing customers asked for his zSystems level of reliability and performance on x86 architectures, IBM had the answer.

But the IBM LinuxONE Rockhopper 4 changes all that. IBM shouldn’t hesitate to target the x86 market aggressively. Targeting enterprises adopting a Linux and cloud-native approach, it offers a value proposition that x86 competitors cannot match. Emphasizes the performance of database environments such as MongoDB running in modern data centers. It shows the incredible cost savings you can achieve by running the same SQL database using far fewer cores.

With LinuxONE you can realize some real benefits. The question is whether IT organizations recognize these benefits. Or do they remain a well-kept secret?

final thoughts

The days of x86-only data centers are over. The open source community is pushing for cloud native architectures, and Linux is the OS of choice for many. The x86 architecture is still dominant in data centers, but it is no longer the only option. Thanks to our reliance on the cloud, IT administrators care less about the underlying infrastructure on which their workloads run. They care about performance, reliability and security. This is why architectures other than x86 have grown significantly over the last few years. As a result, data centers are cloudified.

This cloudified data center can greatly benefit from LinuxONE. With the Rockhopper 4 and Rockhopper 4 Rack Mount, IBM has made adopting that technology very easy. We will track our go-to-market execution over the next few quarters and provide some perspective.

stay tuned.

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