IBM Willing To Pony Up $1 Billion Investment In Linux

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News Posted: Tue, Sep 17 2013 6:38 PM
Out of seemingly nowhere, Linux is becoming a hot topic. Major technology players ranging from Google to IBM are coming forward in support of the open-source OS, and at LinuxCon 2013, IBM announced plans to invest one billion dollars in new Linux and open source technologies for IBM's Power Systems servers. As IBM puts it: "the investment aims to help 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."

Two immediate initiatives announced, a new client center in Europe and a Linux on Power development cloud, focus on rapidly expanding IBM’s growing ecosystem supporting Linux on Power Systems which today represents thousands of independent software vendor and open source applications worldwide. The Power Systems Linux Center in France is a newly-opened plant 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. To serve the growing number of developers, Business Partners and clients interested in running Linux on Power Systems, IBM is expanding its Power Systems cloud for development, too.


Jim Zemlin, Executive Director of the Linux Foundation commented on the investment stating, "The last time IBM committed $1B to Linux, it helped start a flurry of innovation that has never slowed. IBM's continued investments in Linux for Power Systems is welcomed by the Linux community.  We look forward to seeing how the Power platform can bring about further innovation on Linux, and how companies and developers can work together to get the most out of this open architecture."

McCredie also addressed how Watson, IBM's cognitive computing solution that gained fame as the first non-human to win the Jeopardy! game show and now available in a variety of industry solutions, runs on commercially available Power Systems servers running Linux. All in all, Linux hasn't been able to win over the hearts of the consumer masses, but it's powering a shocking amount of commercial applications that we rely on each day.
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BurntChz replied on Wed, Sep 18 2013 10:06 AM

This makes perfect sense, since the leaked NSA story all over the media, people are looking for systems and OS software that are more secure and not ‘spying’ on them. MS has a HUGE problem on their hands now that everyone knows there are government ‘backdoors’ in all Windows versions since Win95. Does anyone remember the Russian government saying they were getting rid of Windows and moving to Linux for their IT infrastructure? In reports as early as 2002, they have been quietly moving parts of the government onto Linux, and in December 2010 Putin signed an order mandating the shift to Linux for government systems by 2015. Maybe they knew something before we did.

Linux has always been a great OS, there just hasn’t been much incentive for companies to develop for it. It may be that the tide is beginning to turn. Look at the success of Android, Chrome, and Ubuntu or Valve’s Steam platform. Every day I’m hearing about crowd funding projects based on some kind of ‘thin’ Linux OS. With all the Raspberry Pi kits and other open source/Linux projects going on everywhere this makes investing in Linux seem like a smart move right now.

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But? Linux is free.

(Sarcasm)

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JDiaz replied on Wed, Sep 18 2013 9:49 PM

Uh, no... first the NSA is involved with the Linux Kernel development... “SELinux is an implementation of mandatory access controls (MAC) on Linux”! So at the very least the NSA knows how it works inside and out!

Second, modern surveillance is mainly about the networks you're using and not about the software on your computer. Even the most secure systems can be spied upon if they really want to target you!

Like malware, using Linux may help a bit but nothing is fool proof!

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BurntChz replied on Thu, Sep 19 2013 9:31 AM

This is all true. It’s really more of a perceived sense of security, and no networked system is truly secure from all threats, but most will argue that Linux is more secure than Windows. This is why I think people will flock to it more now, whether it true or not. The NSA stories are simple driving more demand for ‘secure’ systems.

Anything that’s transmitted through a network will always be ‘fair-game’ for people with access, the right tools, and enough time. I’ve never had the time to get deep into Linux. But from what I have seen, it’s usually easier to ‘see’ what’s happening in the background on a Linux system. And correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t there more flexibility and control in the ability to turn features on or off in Linux (thus creating fewer weak points)?

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