The mobile world requires agile infrastructure, one that has the requisite business intelligence for analysis, reporting and execution that drives immediate value to the firm, writes Maurice Blackwood, systems executive at IBM.
Few doubt the value of Linux in the enterprise, the path firms take to accomplish business value, accounting for the new realities of cloud, analytics, social and mobile.
Organisations have the ability to monitor live feeds coming in from social media, interpret sentiment analysis, the real time connection to financial market data, and the ability to make business decisions based on the data, thus empowering the South African market to transform the way in which it conducts business. This is  done by bringing together an open solution from the OS through the database layer.
Fifteen years ago IBM surprised the industry by putting Linux on the mainframe, and today more than a third of IBM mainframe clients are running Linux. In South Africa, however, the proliferation of X86 architecture spawns additional costs and complexity in the data centre, the underutilisation of resources drive higher software licensing costs and the lack of security within the architecture undermining a secure and robust environment that impact the growth of the current Linux market.
However with the rapid development of new workloads to cloud-ready, analytics, mobile, and social solutions the next game change is set to arrive to the Linux platform.
IBM’s introduced two Linux mainframe servers – called LinuxONE – that are the industry’s most powerful[2] and secure enterprise servers designed for the new application economy and hybrid cloud era. It represents a significant expansion of the mainframe’s strategy, embracing open source-based technologies and open-source communities and a commitment to Open Stack.
The recent announcement of UBUNTU support, KVM in the hypervisor layer, the support of open source databases like Mango DB, Postgre, Maria DB, the leaders in the open source development community, are all running on the Enterprise class Mainframe. With further commitment to the Open Mainframe Project with the Linux Open Foundation, IBM has expanded even further to an open environment and future.
The difference now is the execution of the strategy around ‘ease of deployment’ for developers, ‘elasticity’ in pricing on both hardware and software platforms, ‘real-time monitoring’ of systems through ZAware, ‘mobile and social ready’, and ‘hybrid strategy’ recognition for both public and private cloud deployments.  This is a new era in the execution of IBM’s strategy.
Even more exciting is when you stand back from the technical aspects and consider the benefits such technology can bring. Transactions can be analysed in real time, this can help nip fraud as it is in progress saving the South African economy thousands of rands each year. In economy that has reported a R1 billion loss due to ID theft and a further R453 million due to Card fraud, IBM LinuxONE is a game changer with a potential to save the economy billions of rands.
The system can scale up to 8 000 virtual machines or hundreds of thousands of containers – currently the most of any single Linux system. LinuxONE Rockhopper, an entry into the portfolio, is designed for clients and emerging markets seeking the speed, security and availability of the mainframe but in a smaller package.
Linux is ‘prime time’ and Linux One is a strategy that is already meeting the needs of the South African market and the world.