IBM Global Services this week launched the latest step in its ongoing "e-business on demand" strategy, with a new service to help companies using Linux access large-scale computing infrastructure over the Internet.
The new Linux Virtual Services will connect clients with Linux-based applications to IBM e-business hosting centers, getting access to managed server processing, storage and networking capacity. The clients will access "virtual servers" hosted at IBM data centers on zSeries mainframes running Linux, paying as they go for computing power and capacity. For customers not on Linux platforms, IBM GS can provide application porting services to a Linux environment, says the company.
The idea behind IBM's "virtual server" strategy is that the hosted, Linux-enabled zSeries mainframes can partition processing, storage and network capacity for each individual customer, mapping resources to specific demand and providing the same level of separation between customers as a physical server. The result, says the company, is that clients can consolidate workloads from distributed environments while improving performance and reliability.
IBM cited Wisconsin Physicians Service Insurance Corporation as one of the first success stories. The group consolidated e-mail, Web and directory applications from distributed Linux servers to the IBM zSeries mainframe running Linux. While the company's z900 mainframe processes 370,000 claims each day, the plan is to have 25 servers operating on the zSeries Linux environment in the third quarter of 2002.