Linux on Power (LoP)

Linux on PowerI’m very interested in what’s going on with Linux on Power, lots of reading, powerpoint presentations, emails and IBM only Notes databases later, I’ve discovered that the best place for information, code etc. is indeed the DeveloperWorks web site.

5 Responses to “Linux on Power (LoP)”


  1. 1 JD November 28, 2006 at 4:56 am

    LoP – for a smal organisation where supporting SW is not a major concern I can see a benefit, however if they are that small why not use Intel? The problem here lies in the fact that ISV certification and support is required to make LoP a success – many customers have a standard SW stack and will not implement any new technologies unless they can support the SSS. Until then it will probably be more of a playpen thing.

  2. 2 cathcam November 28, 2006 at 6:39 pm

    JD thanks for the comment.

    I agree about the standard software stack, it will become increasingly important. That’s one of the reasons why I think we need to focus on LoP. The System p Application Virtualization Environment (PAVE) will deliver Linux x86 compatibility but that alone won’t resolve the ISV certification anymore than Java would.

    The fact that the platform is compatible won’t convince the ISV community to “just trust us” and they’ll require testing, I think that will become increasingly important for not just Linux but also virtualised environments, so SSS certification becomes increasingly more important irrespective of the hardware platform.

    PAVE is a necessary step, but not sufficient. While we can get really good results from Linux x86 apps running in a virtualized System p environment, sometimes better than native, to get the real value and power of the platform a native LoP will be required, and much more than a “playpen” thing.

    We’ve got to show ISV’s how they can make money from certifying their apps to run in an LoP environment, and why this is a great alternative to Linux x86 on Intel/AMD.

    As Intel/AMD continue to follow our trend and virtualize, the less the SMB will care what platform or OS they are running, especially giving the move to online services, ala salesforce.com – and it’s then that System p has to have a strong LoP value proposition. We must make certification easy, deliver the best Total Cost of Ownership(TCO), and Total Cost per Transaction (TCT) to both SMB’s and enterprise class users.

  3. 3 Reid December 1, 2006 at 11:45 am

    linux vs.windows webhosting.???
    I wondered which should be used for dynamics sites using flash css javascript forms etc.
    I was looking at this companies corporate plan and would like to have the option to set up several seperate websites for different customers
    assigning each an allotment of space with seperate access by them and allowing me access is this site suitable for my needs or is it as it seems just too good to be true???

  4. 4 LNX_FAN August 29, 2007 at 3:27 pm

    I think Linux on Power is not getting the right publicity, purely because of the word “Linux” in the title.

    Power architecture is never directly compared with x86 architecture even though customer discussions with “AIX on Power” compare the technology to midrange and high-end SUN w/Solaris and HP w/HP/UX. So why do the discussions and comparisons about Linux on Power begin with x86/Linux?

    The Power Architecture underpinnings for AIX and Linux are pretty much the same. Both kernels take full advantage of the hardware architecture and depict equivalent, industry leading, performance benchmarks. Linux support adds price advantages, new application support, the Transitive x/86 Linux feature, to the established Power architecture capabilities. So the entry point to Linux on Power is against SUN w/Solaris and HP w/UX at the midrange and high-end along with AIX.

    To answer Reid’s comment: Linux on Power is an awesome solution for your “separate website” requirement, because Power architecture fundamentally includes the virtualization and hypervisor components you need to manage your individual customers from both a technical and legal perspective. Furthermore, the virtualization solution with Linux on Power is not a “bolt-on” capability – it is innate to the architecture. So it doesn’t impact your throughput or performance requirements either. What you get is a cost effective, well utilized set of “partitions” which can act and be managed down to a 1/10th CPU size with complete independence. This equates to the most cost effective system, where you can actually and fully use the system purchased.

    An other thought on this is that Linux on Power is optimized to consolidate what I call the “mid-IT-Stack” which includes LAMP and ISSLE (the SuSE collaborative version). Why is this important?
    What I call the “mid-IT-Stack” is the stuff that “glues” the IT environment together. “IT Stack” in my mind refers to the O/S, the web server, the scripting language and the database – and voila, this looks awfully much like —> LAMP. This component is at the fulcrum of the enterprise or SMB customer’s IT environment, regardless of the way they look at it. It is the glue that takes application logic and delivers the service to the user. So everyone has this to one extent or another. Furthermore, as customers continue down the SOA path their IT stacks LAMP type will play a more and more critical role in determining their future Web interface and services strategies. Power Architecture and System p products allow this “mid-IT-Stack” to work extremely efficiently together, as Linux and AIX based solutions can co-exist on the same box.

    This provides great cost efficiency, utilization benefits, management ease, workload management, reduced complexity, reduced power/sqft/cooling requirements and costs – not even mentioning reduced network latency between the layers since LPAR to LPAR communication is sweet.

    I hope that I didn’t piss anyone off… I just think Linux on Power totally ROCKS!

  5. 5 cathcam August 30, 2007 at 10:03 am

    Wow thanks for the contribution.


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About & Contact

I'm Mark Cathcart, formally a Senior Distinguished Engineer, in Dells Software Group; before that Director of Systems Engineering in the Enterprise Solutions Group at Dell. Prior to that, I was IBM Distinguished Engineer and member of the IBM Academy of Technology. I'm an information technology optimist.


I was a member of the Linux Foundation Core Infrastructure Initiative Steering committee. Read more about it here.

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