IBM moves Linux on to iSeries servers

IBM Corp.'s all-encompassing pilgrimage to Linux continues with its Wednesday announcement offering Linux on its iSeries servers.

The Linux initiative for iSeries servers -- IBM's server line for medium-sized companies -- began with beta-testing of the open-source operating system using versions made by SuSE Linux AG and TurboLinux Inc., said Ian Jarman, product marketing director for IBM's iSeries servers. Wednesday's announcement moves Linux on iSeries machines to general market availability.

Linux allows the servers to operate in logical partitions, cutting down on the need for server farms by allowing one machine to perform multiple functions, Jarman said. A logical partition uses code to split a computer's processing power between programs, rather than dedicating one processor in a multiple-processor server for each partition.

IBM's iSeries servers using Linux will also be able to perform dynamic partitioning, permitting servers to shift processing power "on the fly" between partitions, Jarman said.

Multiple-processor servers are more expensive than single-processor servers, making the prospect of logical partitions palatable to technologists in mid-sized companies looking to cut costs.

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