IBM’s Jean Staten Healy Reflects on a Decade of Linux at LinuxCon 2010

Only a decade ago, Linux was still a question in the minds of CIOs, but over that relatively short period of time the open source operating system has earned its place in the data center, said Jean Staten Healy, head of cross-IBM Linux strategy, during a presentation at LinuxCon 2010 in Boston last week. While 10 years ago, the role of Linux in the enterprise data center was still unclear, today Linux in the marketplace is a force that continues to gain in strength, supporting the diverse requirements of data-intensive workloads, virtual desktop solutions, prebuilt appliances, and cloud deployments models.

And the role of Linux is still evolving, said Healy. Linux continues to offer tremendous value, providing low acquisition costs and overall lower TCO, as well as flexibility through extensive hardware platform choice and strong ISV support, and enterprise-class security. In fact, she said, many customers are now choosing Linux for strategic reasons first, rather than cost savings.

Healy pointed to several examples of the inspiring progress that Linux has enabled. Linux supports smarter cities, like Dubuque which is benefiting from a Linux-based cloud and analytics from IBM, smarter medicine such as Astellas Pharma's improving drug discovery with Linux clusters from system x, smarter oil and gas exploration with Shell, simulating more and speculating less, and smarter traffic, enabling the police of St. Petersburg to process more data with Linux and System z.

IBM offers clients complete Linux solutions, top to bottom, end to end - and Linux continues to help IBM innovate, Healy concluded, emphasizing that Linux provides tremendous value, has become strategic, and will continue to evolve to meet future needs and opportunities.