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IBM and Red Hat Sign Major Support Agreement 188

gnudot writes: "Red Hat announced this morning that they have entered into an agreement with IBM to provide support services for the entire eServer product line. This includes zSeries, iSeries pSeries in addition to the xSeries (What no qSeries? or 7Series?) which is already supported. Here is the story on Yahoo."
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IBM and Red Hat Sign Major Support Agreement

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    except after cServer
  • sidenote... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Misha ( 21355 ) on Tuesday November 27, 2001 @06:56PM (#2621850) Homepage
    this sent RedHat shares flying [], as well as some other Linux stocks, such as Caldera and VA Systems.
    • Re:sidenote... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by selectspec ( 74651 ) on Tuesday November 27, 2001 @06:57PM (#2621860)
      I think this pretty much seals the deal with RedHat as the defacto Linux distro for the commerical OEMs. What do people think?
      • I think this pretty much seals the deal with RedHat as the defacto Linux distro for the commerical OEMs.

        What do people think?

        I think I'm glad it wasn't V.A. with the defacto Linux distro.... ;-)

      • Re:sidenote... (Score:2, Informative)

        I'm not that sure.

        According to the IBM website IBM has 4 strategic Linux partners (Caldera, Red Hat, SuSE and Turbo Linux). Furthermore, I could find nothing in the news article (basically a Red Hat press statement) that this is an exclusive deal. Thus IBM is free to negotiate comparable deals with other strategic partners.

    • Interesting though, IBM is down two bucks.
      • Re:sidenote... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Misha ( 21355 ) on Tuesday November 27, 2001 @07:17PM (#2621999) Homepage
        that's because the deal is a big deal for RHAT but a far lesser deal for IBM.

        If you think about it, IBM could probably do better with AIX. The price drop simply reflects that in the short term there will be AIX to Linux migration issues which may cause IBM extra money spent. But in the long run, it is a better deal.
      • that's because IBM is moving part of their business out to another entity
      • While this deal is a BIG deal for RedHat, it probably isn't exactly a huge thing for IBM. I doubt that the $2 drop in IBM's stock price had anything to do with this deal. It is more likely related to the fact that blue-chips in general fell today due to weak consumer confidence numbers that came out today.
      • Yeah, but the whole stock market was down today on news of consumer confidence or something.
    • Re:sidenote... (Score:3, Informative)

      by nazgul ( 11395 )
      Red Hat's CFO was on CNBC this afternoon discussing the deal. He advised that the company is expecting strong growth for this quarter and re-iterated Red Hat's offer of providing software for every school in America if Microsoft would change it's settlement and provide all the hardware. Red Hat would also provide support and upgrades forever.
  • by tim_maroney ( 239442 ) on Tuesday November 27, 2001 @06:57PM (#2621858) Homepage
    The press release at Red Hat [] also mentions software solutions.

    I'm not sure what to make of this exactly. How many of these servers does IBM sell? If the services market here is lucrative, then why doesn't IBM keep it for itself? Still, it seems like it might be a nice little revenue stream for Red Hat.

    • by frank_adrian314159 ( 469671 ) on Tuesday November 27, 2001 @07:33PM (#2622069) Homepage
      How many of these servers does IBM sell?

      Tens of thousands per year. More important still is the installed base of these machines, which run into the hundreds of thousands. To be honest, most of the installed base of these machines don't currently run Linux, being split among OS/390, OS/400, AIX, and (of course) Windows. But many of them might be willing to switch. Even more, if Red Hat does a good job

      As to why IBM would spin off Linux support, it's probably a good deal for them. Good S/390 and AS/400 people don't come cheaply in the best of times and many may not be well disposed towards learning Linux (which they rightly perceive as a less reliable and stable OS than the native alternatives). The Intel box guys have a hard enough time dealing with Windows. The training costs assciated with this venture would be hideous.

      Now, if you sell the software support business to Red Hat, you can still sell hardware support, still write software for the platforms, and still sell the iron. Plus, you've laid off the risk of Linux failing and the cost of hiring new people to an independent entity. Looks like a good deal to me, if I'm IBM. Looks like a good deal all around...

      • by tim_maroney ( 239442 ) on Tuesday November 27, 2001 @08:19PM (#2622275) Homepage
        Tens of thousands per year. More important still is the installed base of these machines, which run into the hundreds of thousands. To be honest, most of the installed base of these machines don't currently run Linux, being split among OS/390, OS/400, AIX, and (of course)

        I'm not sure of the source of your numbers, but let's take them as golden, and say 50,000. Now, I wonder how many of those new systems run Linux, and how many run IBM's OS. Would half be a nice optimistic guesstimate? As for conversion of machines already in the field, I'd have to say I'd be surprised if it were as much as five percent overall, and much less than that per year. For now let's ignore it. So that's maybe 25,000 each year.

        Now, how much are the support contracts? The Red Hat site doesn't really give numbers for all its options, but the Enterprise Edition [] comes with a pretty sweet support contract, and it's $2,500. A later message in the thread says IBM support can be about $10,000 per annum, so let's split the difference and say $6,250 per box. Let's further be optimistic and say that anyone who can afford one of these servers will get a support contract -- even though people running Linux may be inherently cost-averse.

        Yeah, I know this is really fuzzy. I'm just trying to get somewhere close to an order of magnitude here.

        So that would be something close to 25,000 * $6,250 = $156 million per year, increasing by that amount per year, and more than doubling Red Hat's current revenue in the first year. Not too shabby! But I'm not sure how real those numbers are, or what the cost of generating the revenue would be -- services businesses traditionally have pretty slim margins, and it looks like there's some R&D to be done before this even starts. Still, if this is even in the ballpark it could be pretty sweet.

        Plus, [IBM has] laid off the risk of Linux failing and the cost of hiring new people to an independent entity.

        That's the thing that concerns me. There's something about this that smells more like passing the buck than sharing the wealth. If the adoption percentages are significantly lower than my guesstimates -- like 25% of new systems instead of 50%, or a 50% purchase of support contracts instead of 100%, much less both -- it's not going to do that much for Red Hat. I guess time will tell. For now I'm happy to be confused on a higher plane.

        • Also may be RedHat's e-commerce platform []. Comes also with sweet support.. Would be GREAT !
        • That's the thing that concerns me. There's something about this that smells more like passing the buck than sharing the wealth. If the adoption percentages are significantly lower than my guesstimates
          IBM have invested in Linux people. A kernel-hacking friend of mine was picked up by them shortly after the Linuxcare/Turbo Linux merger. It makes sense for them spend resources to get the kernel and other pieces of software to work better on their hardware. It doesn't make a great deal of sense for them to attempt to get across the vast diversity of generalised support issues.
        • They're not sharing the wealth OR passing the buck. It's 100% pure unadulterated business. Somebody crunched the numbers and it was cheaper (and possibly more marketable) this way. IBM just doesn't have ulterior motives you'd find at Oracle or MSFT because IBM just wants to make money... That's what the stockholders want.
    • A couple of years ago, there were 250,000 AS/400s in service. That market isn't growing, but it's probably not contracting, since those customers are a hidebound bunch. I seem to remember that average AS/400/iSeries customers spend $100,000 or more on their machines.

      I have no actual sales numbers on System 390/zSeries servers, but I seem to remember most customers spending at least $1 million for each of those.

      Between the iSeries and zSeries customers, we're talking about customers who have enough cash to pay extra for support and services. And I know these customers most often pony up extra for IBM support services anyway, so it probably won't be such a big deal for RedHat to get a nice piece of that pie.
      • by Anonymous Coward
        Being a somewhat dedicated AS400 (oh, sorry, iSeries) developer, and working for an iSeries reseller, I can say that these people do spend the money for support. However, a lot of these companies would like to enter the "e-business" world and web-enable a lot of these traditional, green-screen driven applications that have been developed over the years. One way to do this is to LPAR these $500k + servers into 2 logical servers, one side running OS400, and the other Linux. IBM's current support group for Linux (located here in my area of Dallas, Texas) are not very strong, and instead rely heavily on the current AIX support infrastructure. It's not unheard of to drop $10k a year on an IBM software subscription just to keep OS and other important software up to date and at the current PTF levels.
    • As a developer of small business solutions, an xSeries server running RedHat Linux 7.x, coupled with IBM's Small Business Suite for Linux (Domino Application server, DB2 Workgroup Edition, and WebSphere for $500) is a VERY attractive combination from price, stability, and product maturity standpoints.
  • Look at how much the stock went up according to Yahoo!

  • by Bonker ( 243350 ) on Tuesday November 27, 2001 @06:58PM (#2621867)
    IBM is doing what they do best... making damn good hardware.

    Redhat is doing what they do best... making a damn good server OS. Apparently, it's better than AIX. At least it's costing IBM less, which is a good goal as well. IBM gets Free software to run on its high price enterprise-class servers. Redhat gets paid a lot by a huge company for support, and incidentally for further development. They also get a lot of prestige... and more penguins spraypainted on sidewalks, I'd imagine.

    Everyone else gets the fruits of IBM's and Redhat's labors in the form of GPL and other open-license software. Win-Win-Win
    • You should abstract this concept into a general theory, you could name it like comparative advantage, that sounds cool. Add some other stuff, and make a whole college major out of it, we could call it...i don't know....economics??
    • by RobL3 ( 126711 ) on Tuesday November 27, 2001 @07:13PM (#2621970)
      "Apparently, it's better than AIX"

      AIX will still run on clients high-end mission critical servers. Linux will run on small to midrange servers.

      If you think that a Fortune 100 company like the one I work for is going to switch >1000 AIX servers to Linux, You Are Nuts. We want IBM reliability, IBM support, and IBM accountability.
      • We want IBM reliability, IBM support, and IBM accountability.

        And you can get it, with IBM eServers running Linux.
        • The high end of the IBM pSeries line has 8 - 32 way CPU scalability.

          I'm sorry, but unfortunately Linux doesn't scale that well. YET.

          Now, in a few years will it? With this kind of backing from both IBM and Red Hat will we see it? I'd bet so...
      • "Apparently, it's better than AIX"
        Not yet.
      • "Apparently, it's better than AIX"

        In 5 years? In 10 years?
        Current Linux might be rock-solid, but there is not yet the years of field experience to know. I suspect that in this environment, one unknown bug is worth about ten known bugs.
        We want IBM reliability, IBM support, and IBM accountability.
        When and if you want or need to switch, your odds just improved. The irony is that all this makes your not switching a more viable position. It also makes it more likely that you're actually getting your money's worth.
      • We want IBM reliability, IBM support, and IBM accountability.

        But in the long run, aren't we looking at a situation where the niche currently covered by unices like Solaris and AIX to be taken over by Linux?

        I think this is a valid question, and we all should be working towards that as our goal for developing GNU/Linux going forward.
      • AIX will still run on clients high-end mission critical servers. Linux will run on small to midrange servers.
        Absolutely. I can assure you that you are correct (for the most part) because I've been working in a company whose job it is to take behemoth companies running ancient software on IBM mainframes and convert their production operations over to our software on farms of small Intel/Linux boxen.

        I don't see anyone running Linux on huge hardware. They're all converting to farms of tiny, redundant, replacable, damn-near-disposable servers. Of course, in our case tiny means dual-processor boxes with 4GB of RAM, but for our customers that is tiny.

        So, as with the mainframe vs. mini and mini vs. midrange arguments of yesteryear, you will begin to see a new trend in corporate computing: the micro-farm. It will not simply replace larger systems. It will become the standard by which the next stage of hardware downsizing (remember when that didn't mean layoffs?) will be judged.
    • Apparently, it's better than AIX.

      I doubt that it's better then AIX (technicaly) all around, but what it is an OS with growing marketshare and way better compatablity, which means more software. AIX is never going to do anything to microsoft, Linux is.
    • >Everyone else gets the fruits of IBM's and Redhat's labors in the form of GPL and other open-license software. Win-Win-Win

      Win WIn WIn... think about it... :)
    • Gimme a f**king break .. and this is "*insightful*"??

      Both of these companies pay heavy homage to Intel, and Redhat didn't really do anything impressive except collate existing s/w, fudge it ala M$, and write a feature-obsessed package manager.

      when will ppl stop drinking the kool-aid here?

  • by The Slashdolt ( 518657 ) on Tuesday November 27, 2001 @06:59PM (#2621879) Homepage
    Redhat will also be responsible for cleaning up the linux graffiti [] ads that IBM did in SF. That's not my definition of "linux support"
  • What the hell happened to SUSE? IBM was cozily in bed with them; then, whammo!

    The Gardener

  • Congradulations, never have liked the distro, but it is always good to see a linux company do well.

    Lets just hope this isn't one of those support deals where RedHat pays IBM to support IBMs software. Never did understand that.
    • I don't use RedHat, but I'm glad they're doing good! This benefits everyone who uses/promotes Linux.

      IBM makes great hardware, RedHat is a nicely packaged OS based off of Linux. I think the two will get along just great!

      Congrats to IBM and RedHat.
  • by MythosTraecer ( 141226 ) on Tuesday November 27, 2001 @07:08PM (#2621946)
    For those of us still not comfortable with IBM's new eServer marketspeak, here's a simple conversion chart:

    eServer Name == Real Name
    iSeries == AS/400
    pSeries == RS/6000
    xSeries == Netfinity/PC server
    zSeries == System/390 mainframe
  • I wrote those covered calls a bit too early. Serves my lack of faith right :)
  • IBM's support of Linux has been great, and I realize they've said they won't do their own distro, but I STILL say they should! They could probably buy RedHat outright, which already seems to have close ties to IBM at RTP.

    An IBM Linux distro would become sorta like the "IBM PC" in that it would be a quasi-standard that everyone rallies around, but IBM doesn't really control. This already happened with the PC. The GPL would ensure it further. (IBM's hardware-centricity would also help ensure impartiality for software) In other words, it would create a sort of "majority-defacto" Linux API that developers could at least shoot for instead of the current bit of fragmentation. A (relatively) standard API has worked to M$ advantage for attracting developers.

    IBM's good name would help Linux acceptance with the PHB's :) This already happened with IBM's name on small PC's which were seen as curiosities by management types when they first appeared years ago. Linux is in a similar place that the small computers like Apple and RadioShack were in then. Once you get this kind of corporate and overall acceptance, the momentum builds, more folks get involved, and things get even better.
    • I don't know if i'd like the idea of an IBM distro... Anyway, it would make them too much of a competitor to Microsoft, and they probably don't want to go there. Why piss off Redmond when they don't need to? Maybe in a few years if/when MS is a little weaker.
      • Re: not pissing off (Score:3, Interesting)

        by mughi ( 32874 )
        Why piss off Redmond when they don't need to?

        One might be able to argue that IBM has been doing things just to piss-off and beat Microsoft. Open-source labs, linux for iPaq, and their whole jump behind Java...

        IBM seems to have gotten into a situation where they can benefit the public while at the same time take a swipe at a long-time 'enemy' (remember IBM getting the short in with DOS, OS/2, etc.). Seems like a win for consumers, and an example of open-source and the free market together benefiting consumers.

      • I can see it now...the M$ Linux dist. M$ would make one that was incompatible with every other *nix dist... like they did with Java.
    • It's a bad idea to lock yourself into a single vendor, even if the vendor is yourself.
      There are some minor short-term advantages to an IBM distro, but a lot of long-term disadvantages which are not minor. The key to the future is interoperability and a few minor bits of fragmentation actually helps. Even OpenBSD can run Linux binaries.
    • IBM's already had their anti-trust difficulties, and entering the desktop/workstation/lower-end server OS arena probably wouldn't look good from that perspective (different (imho) from creating their own proprietary OS, but....)

      anyway, i understand you point. personally, i'm torn between 1.) having IBM create/buy their own distro and create a huge chunk of legitimacy for Linux with huge/rich customers of IBM (and in turn attract more developers) and 2.) that an IBM distro could be disastrous for Debian, SuSe, et al. - most businesses that have a choice between IBM products and non-IBM products would choose IBM if they had the $.

      (i totally agree with you about management fascination with all things IBM - have you ever seen one looking at a decked-out ThinkPad? although, honestly, i get a little misty eyed myself :) )
      • IBM already have a mature *nix OS.
        Why should they spend money, resources, marketing et al to supply a product for a niche in which they already have a product?
        (I personally like AIX better than Linux for it's reliability and the fabulous smit,*grin*, and would hate if they dropped it for some Linux distro.)

        Going with a well established alternative product from a third party, if the customers want one is imho. their best alternative at present.

        IBM is smart enough to see the benefit of open source (ex. XML4J which they gave Apache and the Eclipse project) and they use it themselves and refine it or even create the initial material. However, what they are doing is making sure that they don't have a situation where the wheel is invented twice. Thus keeping AIX and letting the "duplicate" RedHat Linux be managed by a third party. Thus XML4J to a third party (They already have a Lotus parser for ex.)..
    • Really. If IBM started their own distro, or purchaced redhat, they would own the distro market flat out. Everyone in bussness would go for "IBM stablity" over anything else (hell, I would to unless I knew for sure it sucked).

      And I doubt that many of the 'hard core' would be very happy about seeing companies like redhat, SUSE, etc get the smackdown. IBM would kill its karma with the community.
    • by finkployd ( 12902 ) on Tuesday November 27, 2001 @08:42PM (#2622389) Homepage
      IBM has possibly the most impressive history on Earth of "Bad Marketing for Good Operating Systems". I mean, think about it, AIX rocks (although I see Linux passing it in x years), OS/2 ruled, and OS/390 defines stability in a way that no other OS will even approach in decades. Yet they cannot market them at all.

      Now hardware, IBM knows hardware. They can make it, they can market it, and they can make money off it. Let them stick with what they do best and leave the rest to others. If they happen to be able to sell more hardware by helping someone else develop software for it, then it's better for everyone.

  • Rock on! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ( 152591 ) on Tuesday November 27, 2001 @07:14PM (#2621977) Homepage
    This is precisely the sort of thing that will help ALL Linux-related companies. IBM wants to dethrone Microsoft. IBM still supports NT/2k/whatever for their customer base, but they increasingly recognize they can't win at this alone. RedHat wants to sell software - not just RedHat Linux, but things like Interchange and Stronghold. Being able to sell hardware with packages like Stronghold ready to roll right out of the box is a major boon for IBM and RedHat. It also helps IBM because they don't have to roll their own Linux distribution to sell their hardware. Big Blue has finally seen the light.
    • So Bill is currently on the throne - is that where all the crap comes from?
    • Re:Rock on! (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Behind the scenes -- IBM invested big dough into beefing up it's NT/2000 services group, but hasn't seen the results they might like. One big reason is that Microsoft switched it's services group from break-even to for-profit, which means that IBM competes with them on their home turf. No sane MS customer is going to try to run DB2 on Windows anyway.

      So, Linux is a good bet. But, IBM doesn't want to put their brandname on the Linux box because then they would have to provide IBM-style service and support (as opposed to the amaturish stuff you get now from the 'bazaar'). So, they pawn the distribution bit off onto a 3rd party.

      (Imagine IBM Linux and think about RH 5.2/Kernel 2.0/glibc 2.0 still receiving active support and kernel changes being dictated by big customers instead of programmers.)

      The only 'light' IBM sees is that the real money's in the middleware (WebSphere, DB2) and implementation services. And to be effective there, they can't have their normal platform-lock strategy. So Linux brings a little 'peace and love' marketing gloss to the situation, RedHat gets a little cut, but IBM still makes bank the old fashioned way.
  • Whatever happened to IBM's statement that they will support any Linux distro on the planet on an IBM eServer?

    I was just about to order a whole set of those little guys and was planning on running Debian GNU/Linux on them. If it won't be supported, I'll have to buy something else, or dog forbid build them myself.
    • Why would you build them yourself (more time, money) when you can just BUY then from IBM! Just because it isn't supported doesn't mean it isn't possible. Debian would run fine on them.

      • A dude from IBM just e-mailed me and told me that they would still support the system running Debian, but that they just couldn't help me if I had trouble configuring/maintaining it.

        That'll work for me.

        The main reasons for me behind purchasing an IBM server is their support and service. And their unflinching support of Linux!
  • The real test here is going to be time, and whether or not IBM decides to stand behind this instance of Linux for a substancial period of time..

    What this does buy the linux community is the fact that Linux has support by a big name, rich company. IT managers should feel more comfortable with this knowledge.

    In the past I've seen IT departments lean toward Microsoft in their solutions, even knowing the product was defective, because they honestly thought they could get individual attention and support.

    IBM certainly knows how to deliver better support than Microsoft, especially since IBM will come on site.

  • I don't see any details here..

    If I buy tommorow a pSeries machine (I wish!), where is Red Hat coming? do I sign a support contract with them or with IBM? and who do I turn if I have a question? to Red Hat or to IBM?

    Lots of details missing........
  • Forgive my ignorance, I never worked much with IBM boxen at all, just a few SPSS routines that were required in college. But I've heard several claims that the *ni|ux OS's can't really compete with the original IBM operating systems, because of better prioritizing capabilities in the old OS. According to these claims, mission critical apps running on IBM, such as accounting software, could never run properly anywhere else.

    Is Linux kernel-level stuff (threads, forking, etc) sufficient to the realtime needs of larger IBM apps now? Or, perhaps these machines wont be used for those type of apps when running RH?

    I am quite curious what folks do with this sort of a configuration in the real world.

    Sidebar, I heard Sun converted all of their acctng apps to Solaris awhile (96?) back too. But I never heard much more about it.

    • IBM's classic servers where never known for true real time applications, just massive amounts of batch processing of lots of tasks. As opposed to say a fly by wire airplane system. And giving the payrol paycheck job stream enough resources to get done in time, and accounting for the resources used. I think a lot of this is going away with the lower cost machines, there is less need for accouting and prioritizing tasks.

      I would think that Apache & DB2 goes a long way towards running modern applications.

      Linux is IBM's holy grail, an operating system that runs across all their lines. Write once, and it runs on any IBM machine.
    • I have worked with various IBM system off and on, including the System/390 and RS/6000, but not AS/400.

      RS/6000 is a Unix system basically. Probably still with more high-end features than Linux, but when building really big Unix systems, my company used HP or DG instead.

      System/390's have several different operating system choices []. My experience was an unpleasant one with the oldest and cruftiest option (VSE), but I'll try not be too disparaging.

      My opinion is that they seem faster because they don't do as much. If they seem better at prioritizing, you should consider that they don't have the usual Unix load to deal with (e.g. 20-odd daemons, local and remote X-sessions, command-line users, and a couple big applications). The 3090 terminal does updates a screen at a time, not character-by-character. That's similar to a text-only 24x80 browser which doesn't have to build and tear down the http connection each request. If you just want to put some accounting app on it, fine. You won't have any downtime, because that is the only thing running on the system.

      The little I've read about AS/400 suggests that it's an innovative system, but operates with the mainframe mentality.
      • The little I've read about AS/400 suggests that it's an innovative system, but operates with the mainframe mentality.
        Yes, you're absolutely right -- mainframe mentality in terms of integration of OS, DB, tools, etc., stability, uptime, scalability. Great systems. Worked with them for 13 years, now I have the misfortune to develop web apps to J2EE on UNIX and slap myself on the forehead every time some dolt thinks he's had a brainwave, recommending some concept that's existed on OS/400 for 10 years.
  • make an IBM branded linux for these...

    Then the could call it:

    The seriesOS

    (insert rimshot)

    Actually it is not a bad idea..."the seriesOS, when you are seriOuS.
  • I seem to recall that Caldera and TurboLinux have the same agreement with IBM.

    IBM has been looking for Linux partners to support all of their hardware since they got into Linux, and Turbo and Caldera were the first to step up to the plate. Bear in mind also that AIX/5L is the outcome of the "Monterey Project" between IBM and SCO, which Caldera acquired.

    I think this indicates that Red Hat and IBM are starting to work more closely together after IBM was unable to create a fragmented Linux vendor market, rather than one dominated by Red Hat (at least in the US).
  • by Anonymous Coward
    One of the most desirable features of Red hat v7.2 is being able to do a non-destructive upgrade from Ext2 to the journalling file system Ext3 []. As soon as the upgrade is completted, IBM's prefered backup "solution" [] will *PURPOSILY* stop backing up the file systems as if they no longer exist!

    Rather, the needs of the Linux user is secondary to the needs of IBM's R&D. File systems that most Linux users have never heard of such as GPFS [] and Episode [] are accepted as valid file systems for IBM backup while more frequently used file systems such as Ext3 and xfs are ignored. Even more common true blue file systems such as jfs [] and AFS [] are skipped by the IBM backup "solution."

    So... IBM is now enlisting the help of Red hat? So what?! At the end of the day, will I be able to restore the latest files from my Red hat v7.2 Ext3 fs which *should* have been backed up to TSM? Will Red hat be able to assist me in getting TSM running on a pSeries F50 running Linux?

    The bottom line is that several departments of IBM such as Tivoli are still treating Linux as an expiermental operating system (not production) and treating IBM R&D as the only supported users. Real users, production users of ext3, xfs, jfs and afs as opposed to users of expiermental file systems are finding that True Blue does not care about the integratity of their daily incremental backups. Those that listen to Red hat about the advantages for a non-destructive upgrade to Ext3 during an upgrade to v7.2 will still find that the same file systems that used to back up fine before the upgrade are now being purposily ignored. Users that listen to IBM DeveloperWorks that JFS is now at v1.0 and is production ready are also stuck in the same sinking ship. And while YellowDog Linux runs fine on some pSeries RS/6000s, Tivoli has yet to provide a single client for Linux PPC.

    So, now that Red hat is contracted with IBM, what type of improvement in support for IBM departments such as Tivoli should we expect? NONE. True Blue PATHETIC support. It isn't up to Red hat to get Tivoli support into shape, it is up to IBM and they continue to do a half ass job of it. I'm putting in just as much work, if not more, in monitoring TSM failling backups as I did when running ADSM v2 under Linux emulation of SCO. Nothing has changed and it is still up to the individual Linux users to make choosen true blue "solutions" truely "work."

    Give me the source code to the TSM client. Then we can discuss your "support" options. Until then, IBM is the last company you want to do business with for Linux. "LOVE-PIECE-LINUX" isn't going to get your files back when you figure out that your Red hat v7.2 server was never backed up since you upgraded! "eServers from IBM running Linux" will NOT save you a bundle of money when you need to recreate all your lost work that wasn't backed up since you upgraded to Red hat v7.2.

    Backups are a *BASIC* part of supporting a Linux server. Until you get that part right, all that is being done is hot-word compliant marketting, not *support*.

    • all that is being done is hot-word compliant marketting, not *support*.

      now why .. ever so why .. would a large corporation like IBM want to jump on such a popular bandwagon like linux .. oh yeah - cheap marketing! In other words "we're cool - we get it - we use linux" - sounds too much like a slimy politician targeting a growing influential population to me

      now if most of the geeks here would stop smoking the blue crack and get over their self-esteem issues they might actually wake up to what's going on here

      • And just what exactly is wrong with that slimy politician paying attention to us? Who cares about his motives. If the politician considers you relevant they'll get things done for you so that they can get what they need in return. No one is under any illusions here.
  • ... back when VA was a hardware company with Linux as a differentiator. The technicians at VA could have done such a good job supporting Linux on anything IBM builds.... Sadly, it seems even the management -- nay, especially the management -- never really understood that VA's hardware business had to pay the bills for the short and medium term.

    SIGH Two years ago, I could have worked at either Red Hat or VA. I chose VA because they had a proven business model: selling computers. Too bad VA couldn't make money on them! Now VA is just Red Hat without the name recognition.

  • by vbprgrmr ( 411532 ) on Tuesday November 27, 2001 @08:40PM (#2622378)
    It's an ironic situation that the people (myself included) who are cheering any success Linux has with IBM, also cheered the past day the micro-computer came home to hopefully free us from the tyranny and centralized power of the main-frames from IBM, and the blue suits, the corporate mentality, and the whole IBM philosophy.

    It's incredible that Microsoft has fowled up things so badly that it causes us to cheer the success of our former adversary.

    Long live IBM and Linux!!
    Damn. This old hippie can't believe he just said that.
  • I'm curious as to why the iSeries was listed as only have a 32 bit kernel... it's a 64 bit system.

    • Curious, isn't it? iSeries has NEVER been a 32 bit system. It was a 48 bit system in 1988, and was up until the introduction of 64bit RISC some years back.

      However, as a cost-saving measure for IBM, RS/600 (pSeries) and AS/400 (iSeries) share a CPU core, and have even before AIX 64 bit!

      The PowerPC core has the ability to switch between 32bit and 64bit modes on the fly, which is part of what makes it possible to run 32-bit AIX binaries unmodified under OS/400 [PASE].

      The Linux support is another matter ... It runs on an LPAR, which to linux is bare hardware. Because there isn't a stable 64bit PPC kernel yet, and because of porting issues in making 32bit intel aps 64bit clean, iSeries linux uses 32bit mode 100% of the time.

      There you have it. 32 bit linux on a 64 bit (formerly 48 bit) system.

  • by sporty ( 27564 ) on Tuesday November 27, 2001 @11:08PM (#2622957) Homepage
    Does this mean they'll have red ibm logos or blue redhat logos' on them?
    • Does this mean they'll have red ibm logos or blue redhat logos' on them?

      If I had to guess, I'd guess a blue RedHat logo.

      This is based on my recollection of back when IBM used to resell a semi-IBM branded version of Novell Netware. At the time, Netware's predominant color on all their logo's and stuff was (curiously enough) red. But, the boxes, books, etc., that IBM Netware came in, were all blue themed, with the Novell / Netware logo's.
    • Does this mean they'll have red ibm logos or blue redhat logos' on them?

      IBM actually did fret about this when they first started reselling NetWare in the 80s, which comes boxed all in bright red. Some suggested purple as a compromise. In the end they shipped it in a box with the art laid out exactly the same and the stripey Novell "N", except it was done in bright Smucker's-Blueberry-Syrup blue.
      I never did work out whether this was meant to be ironic humour or not.
    • Purple Hat..
      With an Apache feather.

      PimpHat Linux!
  • it's nice to see great companies such as IBM and RedHat cooperating together to bring linux to the masses. Finally our vision of Linux on every desktop is getting closer and closer.
    With latest release of 2.5 kernels, Linux is the best choice for both desktop and server.
  • RedHat really seems to suck these days ..

    apply IBM methodology
    rinse, lather, repeat

  • At my workplace sit 6 RS6000 beasts with similarly beastly IBM support contracts handling essencially every aspect of a small college network (1,200 students & 500 faculty/staff/administration). My desktop and personal webserver are both linux (RedHat) machines. I see advantages to both systems. Red Hat has a great diversity of applications to run on servers, while AIX has tight security and time-tested server utilities (i.e. SMIT). Hopefully this merger will not just bring Red Hat onto IBM hardware, but it might also promote development of those server utilities for Linux. Advanced serving utilities would help diminish the idea that "AIX will still run on clients high-end mission critical servers. Linux will run on small to midrange servers." (RobL3)

    The road runs both ways, and hopefully we will see some Red Hat/open source applications becoming more AIX-friendly. (Tried installing Python on an AIX machine?)

    But the best part - My stock in RedHat jumped 1.61 points today.
  • Few years from now, when the big become bigger there will be IBM Linux left competing and few years past that - only Microsoft Internet.

God made the integers; all else is the work of Man. -- Kronecker