August 14, 2015

LinuxCon Preview: Q&A with IBM’s Ross Mauri

IBM-logoAs a preview to next week’s LinuxCon, we spoke with Ross Mauri, General Manager, IBM z Systems, about how open infrastructures drive innovation and IBM’s commitment to open ecosystems. 

For more from Ross Mauri, check out his keynote presentation at LinuxCon “Unleashing the Full Potential of Linux and Open Technologies​ ​ ​to Fuel New Innovation​.” In this presentation, Mr. Mauri, along with Dr. Angel Diaz (Vice President of Cloud Technology and Architecture, IBM), will discuss the opportunities Linux offers to optimize workloads with enterprise platforms and why an open infrastructure matters now more than ever. What does being open mean in IT infrastructure?

Ross Mauri: One of the strongest trends in IT infrastructure is the move towards building strong, open ecosystems that drive innovation and share the benefits from those innovations. In the context of IT infrastructure, this means building an open architecture to enable choice, adopting standards to ensure interoperability and using open technologies to benefit from and contribute to community innovation.  

Open is about how organizations, companies and even countries can address disruptions and technology shifts to create a fundamentally new competitive approach. No one company alone can spark the magnitude or diversity of the type of innovation we are going to need so that organizations have the flexibility and capabilities to meet their specific needs. In short, we must collaborate not only to survive…we must collaborate to innovate, differentiate and thrive. What does it mean to be open by design?  

Ross Mauri: Open by design is all about infusing the open concept throughout your organization. It is about creating a culture in which the support of open technologies and open standards is woven into the company’s DNA. It includes ensuring open governance for projects, contributing code to open source software and building solutions on open technologies. How is IBM adapting to this new model of collaboration in IT?

Ross Mauri: At IBM, we have long been on a mission to open doors for enterprises to usher in new innovation, foster interoperability and now, more than ever, engage developers. We have been closely involved in Linux and open source activities for almost two decades. We've adapted by building a world-class open source development organization - the Linux Technology Center - with IBM programmers and engineers working on open source projects as part of the community.

We've learned how to work collaboratively with organizations who may also be competitors in order to achieve shared goals. And we've opened up our intellectual property by making major contributions to open source projects, such as the original Eclipse code. IBM is also a founding member of the Open Stack Foundation, Linux Foundation, OpenPOWER foundation, and Open Virtualization Alliance. More than 500 IBM programmers work as part of open source communities.

Within IBM z Systems, we enabled Linux for the mainframe 15 years ago and have seen adoption grow with 40% of mainframe clients now running Linux. We will be making some exciting new announcements at LinuxCon that greatly advance our commitment to open ecosystems. What are some of the main ways that Linux is optimizing workloads on these new open platforms?

Ross Mauri: Cloud, big data and analytics, mobile and social are all demanding much more of the underlying infrastructure – more performance, more data bandwidth, more security.  Linux makes it much easier to choose the best platform for each workload in order to get the optimal solution.  For example, IBM’s z Systems is able to scale to support up to 8,000 virtual Linux machines. We’re also able to leverage the mainframe’s core capabilities for the Linux environment to provide the highest levels of speed, security and availability.

We continue to expand the mainframe into the open ecosystem so clients have access to the best solution for their needs. We recently enabled Apache Spark for Linux on z Systems, making it easier for more organizations to leverage the mainframe’s advanced analytic capabilities to gain insights faster than ever. Why is open infrastructure more necessary today than ever before?

Ross Mauri: It is clear that in IT infrastructure, the era of one-size fits all companies or solutions is over.  Open infrastructure is the only road to future innovation and higher value. Let me give you three reasons why this is so.  First, because of the growing connections between systems, organizations and people, you need to be open in order to interconnect successfully.  Second, due to the contributions of so many bright people in the open communities, open technologies are delivering innovations at a very fast rate. And third, because the new workloads – cloud, big data, analytics, mobile and social –are all driven by open technologies.    

R-MauriRoss A. Mauri is the General Manager for z Systems. In this capacity, he is responsible for all facets of IBM’s z Systems business worldwide including strategy, architecture, operations, technology development and overall financial performance. Mr. Mauri is a member of IBM’s Performance Team and Growth & Transformation Team. He is co-leader of IBM’s Global Enablement Team that is focused on business development and Smarter Solutions for economic growth in emerging markets.  

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