A Look Back at 2015 – The Year in Linux and Open Source Innovation

In 2015, big data, mobility, IoT, expanding requirements for security and real-time analytics and the introduction of the Cognitive Era continued to place greater pressure on IT organizations. Linux and open source technologies are at the center of many of the most innovative software and hardware solutions that are addressing emerging enterprise requirements. Here’s a look back at some of the most significant announcements in Linux and open source technology of 2015.

  • January 2015
    • IBM Launches z13 Mainframe - Most Powerful and Secure System Ever Built
The z13 mainframe is one of the most sophisticated computer systems ever built. It is the first system able to process 2.5 billion transactions per day, makes possible real-time encryption on all mobile transactions at scale, and is the  first mainframe system with embedded analytics providing real-time transaction insights 17X faster than compared competitive systems at a fraction of the cost. The z13 also includes new support for Hadoop, enabling unstructured data to be analyzed in the system. Other analytics advances include faster acceleration of queries by adding DB2 BLU for Linux providing an in-memory database, enhancements to the IBM DB2 analytics accelerator, and improved performance for mathematically intense analytics workloads.

Read the announcement here
  • March 2015
    • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.1 Introduces Little Endian Distribution Support for Power Systems
Red Hat introduced Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.1 with support for POWER8 on Red Hat Enterprise Linux for Power, little endian. Running on POWER8 offers higher performance especially for big data applications through multi-threading, more cache and greater data bandwidth, while little endian mode removes an application portability barrier and allows datacenters running Power Systems to leverage Red Hat’s vast ecosystem of certified applications originally developed for x86 architecture. This also means that these certified applications can be more easily migrated between x86-based and POWER processor-based systems, giving customers the advantages of both architectures. Previously in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7, only the big endian variant was offered for IBM Power Systems.

Read the announcement here. 

    • SUSE and Veristorm Partner to Bring Hadoop Solutions to IBM z and Power Systems
SUSE and Veristorm announced a partnership to improve big data intelligence gathering by providing certified high-performance Hadoop solutions that run directly on Linux on IBM Power Systems, IBM z Systems, and x86-64. The initiative will help their existing hardware systems to effectively process growing amounts of data to make better business decisions.

Read the announcement here.
  • May 2015
    • Wave for z/VM 1.2 Simplifies Management of Virtualized Environments
IBM introduced a new version of IBM Wave for z/VM. Helping to reduce the cost and skills of managing z/VM and Linux environments on z Systems servers, IBM Wave for z/VM (IBM Wave) simplifies the management of virtualized environments into an intuitive experience. IBM Wave Release 2 further expands the capabilities by delivering increased support for Linux distributions and devices, as well as additional enterprise-grade security and performance enhancements.  

Read the announcement here. 

  • June 2015
    • IBM Announces Major Commitment to Advance Apache Spark
IBM announced a major commitment to Apache Spark, potentially the most important new open source project in a decade that is being defined by data. At the core of this commitment, IBM plans to embed Spark into its industry-leading Analytics and Commerce platforms, and to offer Spark as a service on IBM Cloud. IBM will also put more than 3,500 IBM researchers and developers to work on Spark-related projects at more than a dozen labs worldwide; donate its breakthrough IBM SystemML machine learning technology to the Spark open source ecosystem; and educate more than one million data scientists and data engineers on Spark.

Read the announcement here. 

    • New Docker-Based Container Services for Enterprise Cloud Application Developers
At DockerCon in San Francisco, enterprise-class containers that make it easier for clients to deliver production applications across their hybrid environments were introduced by IBM. The IBM Containers, based on Docker and built on Bluemix, IBM’s platform-as-a-service, provide a more efficient environment that enables faster integration and access to analytics, big data and security services. IBM also became a founding member of a coalition of partners and users to create the Open Container Platform (OCP) that will ensure that containers are interoperable. 

Read the announcement here. 
  • July 2015
    • Cloud Native Computing Foundation Drives Alignment Among Container Technologies
The Cloud Native Computing Foundation was launched by The Linux Foundation to advance the state-of-the-art for building cloud native applications and services, allowing developers to take full advantage of existing and to-be-developed open source technologies. Cloud native refers to applications or services that are container-packaged, dynamically scheduled and micro services-oriented.

Read the announcement here.
  • August 2015
    • SAP Announces General Availability of SAP HANA on IBM Power Systems
In a move that represented an extension of one of the most successful partnerships in the IT industry, SAP announced the availability of SAP HANA on IBM Power Systems in August 2015. “With this release, SAP HANA on IBM Power Systems is supported for customers running SAP Business Warehouse on IBM Power Systems,” wrote Kyle Garman, Managing Director, Global Strategic Partners, SAP, and Anil Saboo, Sr. Director, Global Strategic Partners, SAP, in a blog post. 

Read the announcement here.
    • IBM LinuxONE Debuts With New Flexible Pricing
At LinuxCon North America, IBM announced a significant expansion of the enterprise compute strategy embracing open source-based technologies and open communities. The company disclosed it is shipping two new Linux servers  called LinuxONE  which the company brands as "the most secure Linux servers in the industry." The company also announced it is ramping up its support for open source offerings on its mainframe systems. LinuxONE provides flexibility in pricing, with organizations able to pay for the hardware and software based on their usage. 

Read the announcement here.
    • IBM Fellow Donna Dillenberger demonstrated the IBM LinuxONE system for scalable financial trading has racked up more than 140,000 views. 
      View a video of the demonstration here.
    • Coinciding with the launch of LinuxONE, SUSE also announced SUSE Linux Enterprise Server as the first server operating system supported by new KVM for IBM z Systems, open source-based server virtualization for the IBM mainframe. 
      Read the announcement here.
    • Later, at SUSECon in Amsterdam (in November 2015), SUSE announced it was extending IBM's pricing model to include the SUSE Enterprise Linux distribution pricing for LinuxONE, creating a flexible end-to-end pricing option. 
      Read the announcement here.

    • IBM Teams with Canonical to Put Ubuntu on LinuxONE
IBM and Canonical announced they were teaming up to create an Ubuntu distribution for LinuxONE and z Systems at LinuxCon. “The collaboration with Canonical brings Ubuntu scale-out and cloud expertise to the IBM z Systems platform, further expanding its reach and support,” noted Jane Silber, CEO of Canonical.

Read the announcement here. 

    • Linux Foundation Brings Together Industry Heavyweights to Advance Linux on the Mainframe
As the industry marked 15 years of Linux on the mainframe, The Linux Foundation announced the Open Mainframe Project, an initiative that brings together industry experts to drive innovation and development of Linux on the mainframe. The Open Mainframe Project focuses on finding ways to leverage new software and tools in the Linux environment that are ideal for taking advantage of the mainframe's speed, security, scalability and availability. The project seeks to significantly broaden the set of tools and resources that are intended to drive development and collaboration of mainframe Linux, and also aims to coordinate mainframe improvements to upstream projects to increase the quality of these code submissions and ease upstream collaboration.

Read the announcement here.
  • September 2015
    • The Linux Foundation Estimates the Total Development Cost of Linux Foundation’s Collaborative Projects at $5 Billion
The Linux Foundation released its first ever report that attempts to estimate the cost of how much it would take to develop the technology and understand the value these projects collectively deliver to the industry. According to the report, the total lines of source code present today in Linux Foundation’s Collaborative Projects are 115,013,302; the estimated total amount of effort required to retrace the steps of collaborative development for these projects is 41,192.25 person years; it would take 1,356 developers 30 years to recreate the code bases present in Linux Foundation’s current Collaborative Projects; and the total economic value of this work is estimated to be more than $5 billion.

Read the announcement here. 
  • October 2015
    • New IBM Linux Servers Infuse Technology from OpenPOWER Foundation to Run Big Data Workloads at Lower Cost
A new line of IBM POWER8-based Linux servers – the Power LC (Linux cluster) Line – was launched. The new Power Systems LC servers are the first to be based on technologies and development efforts contributed by OpenPOWER Foundation partners – including Canonical, Mellanox, NVIDIA, Tyan and Wistron. The OpenPOWER Foundation, an independent organization with more than 170 members worldwide, builds solutions on top of the open architecture of IBM’s POWER8 processor

Read the announcement here.
    • IBM Launches Industry's First Consulting Practice Dedicated to Cognitive Business
IBM launched the industry's first consulting organization dedicated to helping clients realize the transformative value of cognitive business. IBM Cognitive Business Solutions extends the exclusive cognitive leadership of IBM Watson and the company's established market leadership in business analytics. The new practice draws on the expertise of more than 2,000 consulting professionals spanning machine learning, advanced analytics, data science and development, supported by industry and change management specialists to accelerate client journeys to cognitive business.

Read the announcement here.
  • November 2015
    • IBM and OpenPOWER Members Deliver Accelerated Technologies to Break Big Data Speed Barriers
IBM and fellow OpenPOWER Foundation members revealed new technologies, collaborations, and developer resources to enable clients to analyze data faster and more deeply. The new offerings center on the tight integration through CAPI (Coherent Accelerator Processor Interface) of IBM’s open and licensable POWER processors with accelerators that can be optimized for computationally intensive software code.

Read the announcement here.