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Linux on POWER

Linux on POWER is here, it's real and it works.

Illustration by Peter Bollinger

I don't know many midrange users who don't fall madly in love with POWER5* systems as soon as they get them. In some of my previous articles, both online and in the magazine, I've outlined the history of the POWER* chip as well as the advanced power virtualization (APV) available on the IBM* fifth-generation chip.

Most of you probably already have a good understanding of the POWER platform and its many capabilities, and that one can run either Linux* or UNIX* (AIX*) LPARs on the POWER5 architecture. You also probably know most of your peers are likely running AIX as opposed to Linux on their POWER5 systems. From a raw performance standpoint, running AIX is faster on System p* servers, in my opinion.

UNIX is a more mature operating system than Linux. (AIX alone just celebrated its 20th anniversary; Linux just turned 15.) From a high-availability standpoint, high availability cluster multi-processing (HACMP*) has been around on AIX for more than a decade, while HACMP for Linux just came out last year, with HACMP version 5.4. So why consider running Linux over AIX on a System p platform? What are some of the differences betwee AIX and Linux? What are some of the differences between running Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 (RHEL4) on POWER and on an Intel* platform?

The bottom line is, by combining the flexibility and cost savings of Linux with the scalability and robustness of the POWER platform, customers across all industries can integrate their environments using Linux on POWER to reduce costs and consolidate workloads.

Ken Milberg, CATE, PMP, is a diverse IT Professional with 20+ years of experience. He is a Power Systems Champion. Ken is a technology writer and site expert for techtarget and has also been a frequent contributor of content for IBM developerWorks. Ken has also been a freelance writer for IBM Systems Magazine and is a former technical editor. He can be reached at

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