IBM, Oracle to Co-market Linux on Mainframes

by Sean Michael Kerner

IBM and Oracle agreed to offer more support for Linux applications running on IBM System z mainframes. The deal doesn't extend to Oracle's Unbreakable Linux at this time -- though not from lack of interest on IBM customers' part.

Linux on IBM mainframes this week getting a vote of confidence from Oracle and research firm IDC.

IBM and Oracle recently inked a deal to garner broader support for Oracle applications running on Linux for IBM's System z mainframe systems.

IBM is responsible for hardware sales, while Oracle is responsible for Oracle software sales, according to Frank Monez, Linux initiative manager for IBM System z.

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Candidate workloads for the Linux on System z include Oracle database software and other Oracle software including, EBusiness Suite for Linux on System z, Peoplesoft on Linux for System z, and Siebel on Linux for System z.

IDC thinks highly of the pact, too, noting in a recent research report that the deal may well serve as "a foundation for future enterprise Linux deployments on the mainframe."

Though IBM is happy to get Oracle applications running on Linux for IBM mainframes, it isn't about to abandon its other Linux partners.

"The co-marketing agreement does not include Unbreakable Linux," Monez told internetnews.com.com. "We continue to collaborate with and support Novell and Red Hat."

The co-marketing agreement also does not include Oracle's new Linux management offering, Unbreakable Linux — which is not to say IBM customers aren't asking about it.

According to Robert Shimp, vice president of technology marketing at Oracle, "some customers have expressed interest in an Oracle Unbreakable Linux support offering on IBM System z Linux."

Oracle began offering Unbreakable Linux support in October as an affront to Linux leader Red Hat. Prospective users have been able to demo the offering for free. The free promotion ends January 31.

Both Red Hat and Novell occupy an important place in IBM's partner structure. At the end of 2005, IBM promoted both Novell and Microsoft to its strategic alliance program, IBM's highest partner level.

It is unclear whether the move to co-market Oracle solutions for Linux on IBM mainframes will have an impact on IBM's AIX software, which also runs on the mainframe. IBM's Monez did not directly answer that question, but he did note that Linux on IBM's Power architecture has been a success.

"Last year, IBM announced the 2,500th Linux application on POWER," Monez said. "The partnership with Oracle and the mainframe enables IBM to better target customers that have systems from competing vendors."

This article was originally published on internetnews.com.

This article was originally published on Thursday Feb 1st 2007
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