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Survey Predicts Continued Strong Growth of Linux Use on Mainframes


Respondents Cite Availability of Capacity, Platform Cost-Effectiveness as Main Reasons for Increased Focus in Strategy and Spending

ISLANDIA, N.Y. – Large enterprises continue to step up their investments in Linux on the mainframe in order to deliver more value to the business while controlling IT costs, according to a recent global study of large enterprises commissioned by CA (NASDAQ: CA).

The study surveyed 100 IT executives and managers at companies with at least $2 billion in annual revenue about their use of the Linux operating system on IBM mainframes. 93% of respondents projected that their use of IBM’s IFL (Integrated Facility for Linux) specialty mainframe processor would increase or at least remain steady over the course of the next two years. 42% projected that their use of the IFL would grow between 21% and 40%, and 10% projected that it would grow more than 76%.

The two main reasons cited by respondents for this increased use of Linux on the mainframe were 1) the desire to take advantage of computing capacity available on their mainframe’s central processors and/or IFLs, and 2) their assessment that using Linux on the mainframe would be more cost-effective than other platforms. Respondents also said they were using Linux on the mainframe to support “green” computing initiatives and infrastructure consolidation strategies.

Survey respondents were also asked to rate specific aspects of Linux on the mainframe as challenges or advantages. Each was seen as more of a challenge than an advantage. Four aspects were rated as strongly advantageous: backup, restore and disaster recovery; the ability to scale to many virtual machines; security; and availability of applications. Of these, scalability received the strongest rating overall.

“Linux on the mainframe is clearly a very attractive platform choice for IT organizations that have to continue scaling the services they deliver to the business, even as their infrastructure budgets are constrained by market uncertainty and competing priorities,” said Michael Zinda, senior vice president in CA’s Mainframe Business Unit. “This study shows that customers are very much aware of the unique value that Linux offers on the mainframe—and that the mainframe remains an ongoing focus for IT investment.”


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