IBM Again Commits $1 Billion to Fuel Linux and Open Source Innovation

At LinuxCon 2013, IBM announced plans to invest $1 billion in new Linux and open source technologies for IBM's Power Systems servers. The new pledge recalled the company's announcement in 2000 that it would embrace Linux as strategic to its systems strategy, followed a year later with the promise of $1 billion dedicated to backing the Linux movement. 

IBM said the new investment is aimed at helping clients capitalize on big data and cloud computing with modern systems built to handle the new wave of applications coming to the data center in the post-PC era.

Twenty-one years after its introduction, Linux is accepted and trusted within the majority of enterprise server environments, according to a study commissioned by enterprise Linux provider SUSE of IT executives at mid- to large-sized businesses.  Eighty-three percent of respondents say they are now running Linux in their server environments, and more than 40% are using Linux as either their primary server operating system or as one of their top server platforms.

IBM's investment announcement also closely followed IBM’s recent OpenPOWER announcement that makes the IBM POWER microprocessor available under license to other companies for open collaboration and development.

The new investment will fuel two immediate initiatives – a new client center in Europe and a Linux on Power development cloud. The new PowerSystemsLinuxCenter in Montpellier, France is among a growing network of centers around the world including China, New York, and Texas, where software developers can build and deploy new applications for big data, cloud, mobile and social business computing on open technology building blocks using Linux and the latest IBM POWER7+ processor technology.

And, to help developers, business partners and clients interested in running Linux on Power Systems, IBM is expanding its Power Systems cloud for development.  The no-charge cloud service is ramping up its infrastructure to enable more businesses to prototype, build, port, and test Linux applications on the Power platform as well as applications built for AIX and IBM i. 

"The last time IBM committed $1 billion to Linux, it helped start a flurry of innovation that has never slowed,” said Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Linux Foundation. “IBM's continued investments in Linux for Power Systems is welcomed by the Linux community.” 

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