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Storage Management and Linux

How IBM delivers comprehensive storage solutions in Linux environments.


Illustration by Maura Condrick

Many corporations have begun using Linux* in enterprise environments, while many others are actively considering the best way to deploy the OS within their IT infrastructures.

The open-source, nonproprietary nature of Linux makes it attractive for several reasons. Because Linux software is distributed without charge, it has a potentially lower total cost of ownership (TCO) than a proprietary software package. Since Linux source code is accessible and adjustable, users can tweak applications to best suit their needs.

The Promise of Linux

As companies seek ways to migrate some elements of their IT infrastructure to a Linux technology-based system, they must consider how working with Linux will affect their existing stored data and their future data-storage protocols. It's best to work with a company that - like IBM - has experience in a Linux environment and understands its promise.

"We have been very active in the Linux community for a long time now," says Mark Fleming, advisory software engineer at IBM. "In fact, with IBM's rich heritage of supporting UNIX* attachments to IBM* System Storage*, it was only natural for us to get involved with Linux as well." Fleming says IBM tries to make suggestions or contribute improvements to Linux with an aim of helping to develop the best open-source OS possible.

This interplay between IBM and the Linux community has resulted in IBM developing a broad portfolio of storage products, including disks, tape drives, switches and software designed to function smoothly in Linux environments.

IBM's long-term involvement with the open-source community also shows in the role it's played in developing many of the open-source file systems in the marketplace today, including the journaled file system and enterprise volume management system. The community of IBMers with deep knowledge in all facets of computing and a passion for supporting customer needs drove these innovations.

In fact, IBM is so focused on the promise of open-source computing, it's created a Linux Technology Center dedicated to improving the OS. IBM employees work with major Linux developers like Red Hat and Novell, striving to help produce better versions of Linux, writing new applications and enhancing existing ones.

"Customers can save themselves a lot of money by understanding what information they have and how it can best be managed." Timothy Thompson, ILM solutions marketing manager, IBM

Aaron Dalton is a writer who specializes in business and technology topics. Aaron can be reached at aaron@imaginationwins.com.


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