IBM is pushing hard on its Linux on Power initiative. The company just rolled out a new PowerLinux server and new software and middleware applications that aim to satisfy the growing enterprise Relevant Products/Services appetite for big data Relevant Products/Services, analytics Relevant Products/Services and next generation Java applications in an open cloud Relevant Products/Services environment.

The new PowerLinux 7R4 server is built on the Power Systems platform running IBM's Watson cognitive computing solution. Big Blue says the server offers that same performance for the new business Relevant Products/Services-critical and data-intensive workloads increasingly deployed in Linux environments. IBM is also pushing out IBM Cognos Business Intelligence and EnterpriseDB database software, each optimized for Linux on Power.

"More clients are choosing IBM's Power Systems designed to handle mission critical and complex cloud and big data workloads in an open Linux environment," said Doug Balog, General Manager for IBM Power Systems. "Responding to this need, we are aggressively investing in our open ecosystem -- including new products, applications and collaborations -- that support today's emerging Linux workloads."

IBM's Strong Linux Play

The PowerLinux 7R4 is the high-end addition to IBM's line-up of Power Systems PowerLinux servers running industry standard Linux from Red Hat and SUSE. The new server, which follows the PowerLinux 7R1 and 7R2 models, delivers up to four sockets and 32 cores. The PowerLinux 7R4 takes advantage of the same virtualization Relevant Products/Services, middleware, and applications that are available on all Power Systems running Linux today.

Big Blue is offering Linux across its entire Power Systems portfolio for clients that want to run on both Linux and IBM's AIX and/or IBM i operating system software. Using IBM's PowerVM virtualization tools, enterprises can partition any Power Systems server into separate virtual Relevant Products/Services servers, some running Linux-based applications while the others can run AIX or IBM i applications.

The Big (Data) Picture

We caught up with Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT, to get his take on IBM's latest Linux servers and software additions. He told us the new solutions are good examples of the way the company leverages multiple innovations from multiple product groups into synergistic new solutions.

"In this case, the latest generation Power7+ processors provide the foundational hardware for Linux-specific cloud and other solutions. But just as important to this mix are the work and investments IBM's software group have been putting into big data and analytics," King said. "In essence, IBM's new PowerLinux System is a great example of what a mature, fully-formed systems vendor is capable of achieving. But just as important to remember are the benefits those efforts will provide IBM's customers and partners."

Driving Cost Savings

GHY International, an international customs brokerage company based in Winnipeg, Canada, uses a Power Systems server running Linux for its custom applications as well as its firewall and front-end spam checking.

"When we want to do something new, Linux on Power is one of our go-to platforms," said Nigel Fortlage, vice president of Information Technology & Social Business Leader for GHY International. "The performance, security Relevant Products/Services and cost efficiencies inherent in Power Systems make it a superior foundation for the growing number of Linux-based applications available today."