3 Reasons IBM Participates in Linux Foundation Projects


It’s impressive that  IBM was founded more than a century ago with decades of research, technologies, and products behind it. But even more impressive is that the company continues to evolve and embrace emerging technologies. It’s done so, in part, due to its continued involvement with Linux and open source through The Linux Foundation.

“IBM has a long history with The Linux Foundation,” says Todd Moore, VP of Open Technology at IBM. “We’ve been one of the bedrock members of The Linux Foundation since its inception.” And, more generally, says Moore, “We have a long history of doing open source projects throughout many communities.”

Today IBM participates in many Linux Foundation projects, including the Open Mainframe Project. The project’s goal is bringing government, academic and corporate members together, “to boost adoption of Linux on mainframes.”

IBM was one of the founding Platinum members of the Open Mainframe Project, along with ADP, CA Technologies, and SUSE. IBM’s participation included making “the largest single contribution of mainframe code from IBM to the open source community,” Moore says.

“We choose to work with The Linux Foundation and participate in projects like the Open Mainframe Project because of the people, the communities who come together, and the great things that get done,” says Moore.

3 reasons IBM participates in Linux Foundation projects

Moore cites three main reasons IBM participates in Linux Foundation projects:

  • Tailored structure: “There’s quite a bit of customization that can happen within a Linux Foundation project. Many communities impose structure in how they want to operate. When we work with the Linux Foundation to create a community, the community can be very much tailored to just that set of individuals.”

  • Open Governance: “Working with the Linux Foundation brings credibility to the actual open governance structure that we like to see in communities. This partnership brings the credibility that this is a project that will be truly governed out in the open.

  • Encouraging collaboration and participation: “We set up organizations and work effectively to create an atmosphere where people will come and collaborate, and they’ll be ‘sticky’ and they’ll want to go and work on those projects.”

Other Linux Foundation projects that IBM is involved in include Node.js, ODPi, the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, and The Hyperledger Project.

“If we were just to take a project and open source it ourselves and expect people to come to that project, it’s a very difficult path,” says Moore. “When you do it in partnership with someone like The Linux Foundation, that path very much gets smoothed. We have great contacts, great recruitment into these projects, and the staff that we can really go and help and deliver on that.”

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