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New IBM Center In Beijing To Speed Linux Applications On Power Systems

BEIJING, May 14, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- At a press conference in Beijing today, IBM (NYSE: IBM) further extended its reach into China with the opening of the first Linux innovation center for Power Systems clients and business partners. The Power Systems Linux Center, located inside IBM's China Systems Center, will make it simpler for software developers to 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 POWER 7+ processor technology.

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With today's news, IBM is announcing a new collaboration with Red Hat and SUSE to meet increasing demand from businesses in China for optimized and pre-integrated computing systems running enterprise applications on Linux. The companies will use the new center to help drive more Linux-based solutions in the marketplace and accelerate Linux adoption on Power Systems.  The center is open to clients, business partners, academics, and students across the nation. Skills resources include:
  • Linux training workshops that show developers how to program, port and optimize their applications using Red Hat Enterprise Linux and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server technologies on Power Systems.
  • Hands-on assistance from 30 dedicated Linux and IBM systems experts to show developers how to take advantage of IBM's unique POWER7+ parallel processing and advanced virtualization capabilities.
  • Access to IBM's business consulting experts and business partner co-marketing resources to develop joint go to market strategies for Power System and Linux based solutions.

The center comes at a time when innovative businesses in China are aggressively taking advantage of big data, cloud, mobile and social computing projects to capture continued growth in industries such as financial markets, banking, communications, retail and transportation. More Chinese clients are choosing IBM's Power Systems for these workloads instead of commodity x86 hardware due to the POWER processor's ability to handle up to twice as many tasks at the same time compared to x86 architecture and the capacity to run more unique workloads on each server as well as the high availability and advanced security features provided on Power Systems.

In February, IBM introduced three new Linux-based Power Systems, each designed specifically to handle big data and cloud workloads to satisfy the volume, velocity and variety of today's high performance analytics as well as the growing demand for flexible cloud based services delivery models.  POWER7+ processors can be a better platform for these workloads than x86 hardware because of the advanced parallel processing, embedded virtualization and massive memory bandwidth - key ingredients for big data analytics and cloud computing – which are built into the Power Systems architecture. These systems come pre-integrated from the factory with Red Hat Enterprise Linux or SUSE Linux, and are optimized for IBM's industry-leading big data analytics software including IBM InfoSphere BigInsights and InfoSphere Streams software along with IBM Platform Symphony and MapReduce for high performance business analytics.

These latest introductions follow on the success of IBM Watson -- the Jeopardy-winning system designed for big data, analytics and cognitive computing -- built on Linux and Power Systems and now commercially available as various industry-based solutions.

Enterprise Linux adoption, both worldwide and in China specifically, has reached a pivotal time. According to the latest figures from the IDC Worldwide Quarterly Server Tracker (Q4 2012), Linux server demand was positively impacted by high performance computing (HPC) and cloud infrastructure deployments, as hardware revenue improved 12.7% year over year in 4Q12 to $3.0 billion. Linux servers now represent 20.4% of all server revenue, up 1.7 points when compared with the fourth quarter of 2011.  And, in China, Linux growth outpaces the worldwide average where, in a growing server market, Linux server market share has grown from 9.2% to 33.2% over the past 10 years.                                                                                      

According to the Linux Foundation's 2013 Enterprise End User Report, enterprises are adopting Linux to run cloud computing and mission critical workloads such as big data and mobile computing faster than ever before. The report shows enterprise organizations identify Linux as the dominant platform for cloud computing with nearly 76 percent using Linux servers for cloud and 74 percent planning to maintain or increase Linux use for future cloud initiatives. The report also shows a dramatic increase in the use of Linux for mission critical workloads has grown consistently year-over-year to reach 73 percent in 2013.  Reliance on Linux for cloud and big data is a strong contributing factor. And, 80 percent of respondents of the world's largest enterprises plan to increase their use of Linux servers over the next five years, compared with just 20 percent for Windows. 

"As enterprise adoption of Red Hat Enterprise Linux grows, companies are looking for faster and simpler ways to take advantage of it for new kinds of workloads like big data and cloud computing to achieve the best possible performance for their applications," said Dr. Sen Min Chang, General Manager for Red Hat Greater China Group. "Red Hat and IBM have collaborated since the early days of the open source movement to bring new innovations into industries where rapid expansion is creating new opportunities for open source solutions. The new IBM Power Systems Linux Center will address these opportunities, especially for our joint Power Systems clients and partners, and we look forward to serving this important group of users together."

"Linux is at the point where the question for enterprises has shifted from 'if' to 'when' it will be used for key business applications, and 'what' is the best hardware platform to run it on," said Andy Jiang, SUSE General Manager of Greater China & Korea. "For China, the new IBM Power Systems Linux Center will answer this question by helping to bridge skills gaps and speed up the proliferation of enterprise applications running on Linux, and enable customers and partners to understand the performance benefits of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server on Power Systems. SUSE and IBM have worked together since the early days of the Linux revolution to integrate SUSE's Enterprise Linux and open source solutions with enterprise hardware like IBM Power Systems, helping to accelerate this shift in growth markets."

Joining IBM, Red Hat and SUSE at the event were government officials and featured speakers from Teamsun, an IBM partner and independent software vendor, and Silk Road Telecommunications, a Power Systems and Linux client. 

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