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100,000 VMs in One Big Box

In 1968 IBM invented virtualization with the release of the IBM System/360 Model 67 mainframe. IBM never gave up on the concept and last week released the zEnterprise mainframe, a beast that can handle some 100,000 virtual machines, or what Big Blue refers to as a "datacenter in a box." (I think I've heard Sun use the same nomenclature.)

While this monster is outside the realm of most shops, conceptually, the approach is sound -- have one big box act as thousands, reducing complexity and shrinking data centers and associated energy costs.

The new machine can run Windows, but IBM advises IT to opt for Linux instead, arguing that it's about the lack of visibility into source code, (and) not wanting to support an OS that 'drag(s) in primitives from DOS."

Is IBM a major virtualization force? Is the mainframe making a comeback in this increasingly complex computing world? You tell me at dbarney@redmondmag.com.

Posted by Doug Barney on July 26, 2010 at 11:53 AM


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