IBM’s Linux support highlights Industry Trend for Extending Hardware Lifespan

IBM supports Linux KVM

Posted on Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Continuing a move towards increased support for Open Source software, particularly the Linux operating system, IBM has announced new KVM support for their z Systems mainframes. The adoption of Linux KVM support on the z series is hoped to encourage users to migrate more of their older x86 Linux-based virtual machine workloads onto their IBM mainframe assets.

For IBM, encouraging migration is a sound move that should see more customers re-entering the traditional upgrade cycle. But the move also shows how vendors are encouraging customers to make more of their existing on site processing and storage assets, rather than off-loading all of their computing to cloud services.

Old is the new new

The IBM announcement was obviously accompanied by the release of several new high-end mainframe systems, so that customers can see that Big Blue has an upgrade path in place for when they reach capacity and need to move on. Reading between the lines however, increased support for non-IBM technologies shows that the OEM has accepted that the period between upgrades is set to increase as users seek to extract the maximum return on their investment.

This approach is not limited to mainframe systems either. Customers are increasingly pushing back against vendor-defined upgrade cycles, choosing instead to use post-warranty support services to keep all of their hardware investments operating after the official EoSL cut-off – including IBM mainframe-attached storage.

Whether post-warranty support services will drive new hardware sales remains to be seen. But the fact that OEM vendors are making it easier to extract additional value from existing hardware assets is sure to be welcomed by their customers – particularly if it gives them greater control and flexibility when processing, managing and storing their data.