Linux Developers Lean Toward IBM’s Power Platform

IBM announced this week that 372 new Linux on Power applications were released in 2006, yielding a total of 2,500 tested Linux-based solutions available for the Power processor platform.

In addition, Big Blue announced the latest Linux on Power application, the Sybase Unwired Accelerator, which offers mobile access to corporate data stored in ERP systems and other enterprise applications.

The company also indicated the Linux on Power combination is emerging as an attractive option for IT organizations and their core applications.

A big reason for the trend is the ease with which software developers and companies can deliver their x86 Linux applications to the Power platform, IBM Vice President of Worldwide Linux and Open Source Scott Handy told LinuxInsider.

“All the hard work was done by the Linux distributors,” he said.

Full Power Ahead

IBM touted Linux on Power as a solution for mid-size IT customers looking to consolidate workloads and cut costs. It has since developed a growing ecosystem of software vendors that support the open source operating system and Power processor platform.

IBM took advantage of strong Linux server growth, allowing customers and independent software vendors (ISVs) to reach new customers and markets with Linux on Power support, claimed Handy.

IBM’s System i and System p servers, as well as its WebSphere Business Services Fabric, are examples of the increasingly popular Linux and Power pairing.

Along with the Sybase Unwired Accelerator, IBM also announced that its latest Express Advantage software for the Power architecture would nowsupport Linux.

Only Big Blue

With Power — which previously was Apple’s processor platform — IBM has created synergy among developers, operators, architects and othersthanks to Big Blue’s global scale and industry strength, Interarbor Solutions Principal Analyst Dana Gardner told LinuxInsider.

“With just about any other company, you’d have to view Power as a niche under pressure,” Gardner said. “Because IBM has its hardware andits distribution and its communities, you have to view it in a different light. It’s really a growth area because of the clout IBM canbring to it.”

Power Process for Cell

“The same confluence of unique market strengths” that IBM brings to the Power platform may help it repeat the success with the Cellprocessor, co-developed by IBM, Sony and Toshiba and currently available in the latest PlayStation 3 gaming console, Gardner explained.

Just as Power was able to live beyond Apple’s computers and find an enterprise market, the highly sophisticated Cell will have opportunityin enterprise applications, according to Gardner.

“Because of what IBM has been able to continue to do with Power, it shows the opportunity they have (with Cell),” he said.

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