Users are faced with continued media and vendor (especially IBM) hype concerning Linux in general and, specifically, its viability as a potential mainframe growth driver.
Although users have been relatively slow to embrace mainframe Linux (notwithstanding IBM's marketing figure of 11 percent of 2001 MIPS shipped being Linux-ready), we see some near-term momentum developing for small application integration (Unix application ports moving to Linux) with existing legacy systems, Linux operational shakedowns, and low-end consolidation (mostly driven by limited staff resources). Our research indicates the modest user consumption of mainframe-based Linux is largely driven by the mainframe's current ease-of-use/management lead (e.g., partitioned workloads, workload management, prioritization, ease-of-use characteristics [for VM]) versus current incarnations of Unix and Wintel-based systems, as well as the availability of some existing mainframe MIPS. But we believe few users are buying any significant new mainframe capacity to run Linux, except in limited cases where service providers are exploiting the ease of virtual machines via IBM's virtual machine facility (z/VM and VM/ESA).
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