IBM is taking a punt on the free and open source Linux operating system with two new mainframes aimed at enterprise customers wanting to build scalable on-premise clouds.
The two LinuxONE mainframes, named after the Linux mascot - the penguin - include the Rockhopper for mid-size businesses and Emperor for larger enterprises.
Both run a version of Canonical's Ubuntu Linux, and open source software popular with enterprise users such as MongoDB, Node.js, Apache Spark, PostgreSQL and more.
IBM said LinuxONE Emperor can scale up to 8000 virtual machines or thousands of containers, and can be pushed to 100 percent utilisation over sustained periods of time.
IBM claims the system is capable of analyzing transactions in “real time” and can be used to help prevent fraud as it is occurring.
The IT giant did not release specifications for the Rockhopper or Empire systems. However, the latter will be based on a model of IBM's z13 mainframe computer, which is designed for high-volume mobile transactions.
IBM intends to place the mainframes in customers' data centres, and charge for them on a metered basis, depending on how much they are used, a company representative told Techcrunch.