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IBM Unveils Linux Software and Services for S/390 Server

Introducing Big Iron to Next Generation e-businesses

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SOMERS, N.Y - 17 May 2000: -- IBM today announced Linux software and services for the S/390 enterprise server. The announcement is the latest initiative in IBM's strategy to infuse Linux throughout its portfolio of e-business servers and services, bringing the benefits of Linux and new applications to the industry's most reliable server.

Linux for S/390 will be offered by SuSE and TurboLinux. IBM Global Services will offer complete Linux for S/390 services and support. The Linux for S/390 solution also includes IBM middleware, allowing portability and integration of applications and data on many different systems.

"The future of e-business depends on how quickly the industry embraces open standards," says William Zeitler, general manager, IBM's Enterprise Systems Group. "IBM was the leader in recognizing the benefits of the Internet for business, and we will be the leader in developing our servers to lead the next generation of e-business. Customers will increasingly embrace Linux for future key business applications."

IBM is making this announcement in response to a groundswell of demand by S/390 users -- there have been more than 2,100 downloads of the code since it was first made available at no cost in January this year. Free downloads will still be available. Customers who want full technical support and middleware integration for mission critical applications will be able to take advantage of the support services offered by IBM Global Services, SuSE and TurboLinux for the formal release.

IBM is also making available key middleware to allow customers to take advantage of the full capabilities of the S/390 server. Mission-critical applications that require the traditional strengths of the platform -- unmatched reliability, security and scalability -- can continue to operate on OS/390, the platform's flagship operating system. New applications can run on Linux for S/390, at the same time and on the same server. For example, DB2 Connect middleware will allow applications running on Linux to access and use data in DB2 Universal Database running on OS/390.

A major advantage of Linux for S/390 is the access that mainframe users will have to the applications being written for Linux, including hundreds of Open Source applications already available on the Internet. In addition, major software developers like BMC and Software AG are supporting the effort with applications available for Linux for S/390. Computer Associates and Compuware are also planning to support Linux for S/390. The ease of deployment on S/390 offered by Linux will help companies stay ahead in the fast-paced world of e-business. This is becoming crucial to help companies, facing unprecedented amounts of Web traffic and depending on e-economy business models that require speed of response and absolute reliability.

"Linux for S/390 is all about openness," says Rich Lechner, vice president of e-business, IBM's Enterprise Systems Group. "Linux opens the S/390 to new e-business applications and a new generation of programming talent. Customers told us that they want the application flexibility of Linux and I think the speed of our response will thrill them."

IBM's decision to provide support for Linux for S/390 is a key element of the company's application sourcing strategy -- a comprehensive plan to allow users the freedom to choose operating systems, middleware and programming languages best suited to their crucial e-business applications. IBM's enhancements to Java, XML, the WebSphere software platform and the upcoming new version of OS/390 are being developed to provide customers the maximum in choice.