IBM will debut the machine at the LinuxWorld Conference in New York at the end of the month. IBM hopes it will attract more customers to invest in its Linux mainframe technology, which promises lower upfront costs and greater ease of management.
The systems giant has already announced a number of mainframe projects involving Linux during the past 12 months. Furthermore, it boasts that 11% of the mainframe computing processing power it sold in the fourth quarter of 2001 was for systems running Linux.
A Linux-only mainframe system running four of its processors will cost $400,000 (€460,000), according to Pete McCaffrey, director of the IBM zSeries mainframe group. The system can be partitioned to run hundreds of versions of Linux, so many organisations will find it an attractive option for consolidating many smaller, dispersed servers onto one centralised system, claims McCaffrey.
IBM also plans to launch a line of special-purpose servers that only run Linux, which can accommodate up to 15 “virtual” versions of Linux and up to four processors, at a price of $50,000 (€57,600).