Blog: What does IBM’s acquisition of Red Hat mean for Linux on Power?

By Greg Lee, Red Hat Business Development at Meridian IT UK

When IBM acquired Red Hat last year, it sent a message to the tech community: Linux is central to IBM’s vision for cloud. And while much of the attention has been focused on Red Hat OpenShift, the container platform that makes it easy to build hybrid cloud services with technologies like Docker and Kubernetes, the acquisition is also significant for IBM Power customers.

While it’s been possible to run Linux on IBM Power Systems servers for many years, IBM has never released its own official distribution of the open source operating system. As a result, the onus has been on IT teams to choose their own favourite Linux flavour and make it work.

While major distributions such as Red Hat, SUSE and Ubuntu already offered Power-specific builds and support, the lack of a single officially “blessed” IBM version added uncertainty to the decision-making process. As a result, many existing Power customers were perhaps more wary of running Linux on Power than they needed to be—slowing Linux adoption on the platform.

As Red Hat becomes part of the IBM family, that’s likely to change. Although it’s likely that other Linux distributions will continue to be supported on the Power platform, it’s reasonable to expect that Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server for IBM Power will be considered the default option.

That’s a good thing for Power customers because Linux on Power is a fantastic and often under-used option for many types of application. In particular, if your core business depends on bespoke IBM AIX or IBM i applications running on Power, Linux can help you develop new functionality around them—supporting application modernisation initiatives by running auxiliary apps and services. For example, if you’re developing a modern web frontend for an old green-screen application, Linux is an obvious choice for deploying the web server—and with Linux on Power, you can run both systems side-by-side on the same box.

The same is true if you’re gradually moving your legacy systems into the cloud. While some of your older core applications may need to remain on-premises, if the surrounding services are running on Linux, they’ll be easier to port to a wide range of cloud platforms. And offerings like our Meridian Power Cloud make that transition easier still: you can simply migrate your IBM AIX, IBM i and Linux virtual machines from your own physical servers to Meridian’s Power Cloud cluster, with minimal changes to the code.

The combination of the Meridian Power Cloud and Linux on Power is a powerful accelerator for cloud migration and application modernisation. It’s simple to get started, and Meridian IT experts will be there to guide you every step of the way. To learn more, take a look at our website or reach out to us today at info@meridianit.co.uk

Close Menu