IBM has announced that it is partnering with Canonical to build a new mainframe running Ubuntu Linux called the LinuxOne.
According to the TechCrunch, the new mainframes come in two flavors. The first is called Emperor and runs on the IBM z13. The other is a smaller mainframe called the Rockhopper designed for a more entry level mainframe buyer.
This new approach includes a monthly subscription pricing model, deeper involvement with other open source projects, contributing a huge cache of mainframe code to open source and participating in the newly launched Open Mainframe Project.
IBM as part of its broader strategy to promote the cloud, analytics and security is hoping to expand the potential market for mainframes by running Ubuntu Linux and supporting a range of popular open source enterprise software such as Apache Spark, Node.js, MongoDB, MariaDB, PostgreSQL and Chef.
Ross Mauri, general manager for IBM Systems said that the company lands between 10 and 20 mainframe customers a quarter. By offering an elastic, cloud-like pricing model, it is hoping to land more customers who might have been scared away previously by the up-front cost of investing in a mainframe.
Mauri explains that the metered mainframe will still sit inside the customer’s on-premises data center, but billing will be based on how much the customer uses the system, much like a cloud model.