Linux as a Catalyst for a Smarter Planet

The opportunity for progress for the planet is clear, emphasized Dr. Bob Sutor, vice president, Open Source and Linux, IBM Software Group, and Jean Staten Healy, head of IBM's Linux strategy, during a presentation they made at Novell BrainShare 2010 last week titled "Linux as a Catalyst for a Smarter Planet." With the world becoming increasingly instrumented and interconnected, virtually all things, processes, and ways of working are becoming intelligent. Only Linux is able to provide the operating system from embedded devices gathering the data to supercomputers analyzing the data. Linux can support dynamic infrastructures that can help drive down costs, and are intelligent and secure.

Sutor and Healy pointed to numerous and wide-ranging real-world examples in which Linux and its ecosystem has played a critical role in crafting a smarter solution, such as Shikoku Electric Power Company's ability to simplify and reduce costs, Queensland Motorways' effort to improve traffic flow and cut exhaust emissions in Brisbane, and the NASA Center for Computational Sciences initiative to improve the quality of climate forecasts.

Linux and its ecosystem offers lower costs through the flexibility to choose where best to run applications - x86, POWER or System z; higher utilization through virtualization and management across platforms; and increased reliability and security, including optional mandatory access control security and real-time support; as well as faster support of emerging technologies through community development and easy access to source code.

The operating models and assumptions of the past are inadequate to address the opportunities, challenges, and risks posed by our smarter planet, stressed Sutor and Healy. And, the attribute that will distinguish successful organizations in a smarter planet is the willingness and ability to become highly dynamic and embrace change.

For more on IBM's vision for a Smarter Planet, go here.