Electric Cars, Open Source Summit, and Linux Server Innovation


This article was sponsored and written by IBM.

The first electric car was produced in the late 19th century, and by 1900 more than a quarter of cars were electric. Then the internal combustion engine took over, and for a century it dominated. Now, however, electric cars are making a comeback, and both manufacturers and governments are predicting the end of the internal combustion engine.

What happened? The technology used for electric cars improved dramatically, the ecosystem of charging points expanded massively, and the need to be green and energy efficient changed public perceptions.   

The first computers were large, centralized, shared systems. Then personal computers emerged, followed by the client-server era, then the servers were linked together into clusters, and most recently networked into cloud systems in order to share data and meet increasing demands for processing power.

We are now seeing a resurgence of large, centralized, shared computer systems. Why? The technology being used for these systems has changed dramatically, the ecosystem of open source and commercial software has expanded greatly, and the need to be green and energy efficient has changed public perceptions.

Additionally, security is a top concern of CIOs; big data is growing exponentially, and IT is being asked to deliver actionable insights faster than ever.

This is where large, centralized, shared computer systems can have significant advantages. Security has a smaller perimeter to protect. Data can be stored in one database, without sharding. And applications can be located on the same system as the data, avoiding latency and network delays.

Technologies for Security, Speed and Scale

Two years ago at LinuxCon in Seattle, IBM announced LinuxONE – its enterprise Linux-only server. This year at Open Source Summit in Los Angeles, we showcased where LinuxONE is being used in practice, why the technology it’s built on is market-leading, and how it is able to address the key priorities of security, speed and scale. We also announced a new version of IBM LinuxONE – Emperor II. You can find out more at www.ibm.com/linuxone.

The unique and breakthrough security technology for LinuxONE is the IBM Secure Service Container. This provides a framework for securely deploying and running software appliances. Building on the logical partitions (LPARs) of LinuxONE which provide peer isolation certified at EAL5+, the Secure Service Container also pervasively encrypts the data, validates the appliance code at boot time, and protects against the misuse of privileged user credentials by internal or external threats with the isolation of the data and applications from shell or command line access.

In the future, it is planned to integrate Docker and open-source container technologies with the IBM Secure Service Container framework to create a highly secure environment for building and deploying applications that embrace cloud native and cloud ready application development tooling and practices. A beta of this technology integration will be available for user engagement via http://ibm.biz/sscbeta.

The new IBM LinuxONE Emperor II is based on IBM Z technology and uses the industry’s fastest commercially available microprocessor, running at 5.2GHz. Combined with instruction-set optimization and capabilities such as pauseless garbage collection, this delivers industry-leading speed including 2.6x better performance for Java workloads.

Up to 170 cores and up to 32TB of memory then enable IBM LinuxONE to deliver extreme scalability, able to support up to two million Docker containers, a 17TB MongoDB database on a single system, and up to 377 billion database transactions per day.

IBM LinuxONE in practice

During the IBM keynote at Open Source Summit, we shared the story of The Plastic Bank – a social enterprise that is both reducing ocean pollution and helping to address global poverty, by providing the ability for people in developing nations to recycle plastic in exchange for digital tokens that they can use to buy goods.

The Plastic Bank needed to provide a highly secure, auditable system that could scale exponentially from Day One. They chose to work with systems integrator and managed service provider, Cognition Foundry, and IBM to run Blockchain on IBM LinuxONE. You can find out the reasons behind their choice in a blog by The Plastic Bank’s Shaun Frankson.

Like electric cars, we believe that highly secure, highly scalable and highly engineered Linux servers have the power to transform the market and change the world. To find out more, visit the IBM LinuxONE news page at www.ibm.com/linuxone/news and read the analyst reports.

Adam Jollans is currently a portfolio marketing manager in the worldwide LinuxONE marketing team, responsible for developing the marketing strategy for IBM’s LinuxONE server and its ecosystem.