the leading provider of high performance Linux distributions, today announced that
it has created a tailor-made Linux package for The Credit Index. Based on the
latest version of the Linux kernel, 2.4.5, Turbolinux has developed the first
commercially available kernel 2.4-based distribution for IBM S/390 processors.
The Credit Index is the nation's premier risk modeling company for the direct response industry, which consists primarily of mail-order catalog marketers. The Credit Index customers rely on data from the firm that details the credit worthiness of catalog customers and, until recently, the company operated entirely on mainframe computers. The Credit Index now runs some of its applications on Intel-based Linux servers, however, most of The Credit Index customers use mainframes and more than half the data the firm receives comes on mainframe format tapes, including the 3490, which led the company to investigate the idea of running Linux directly on its mainframes. "The roadblock we kept running into was that the versions of Linux available for the mainframe could not even begin to support the enormous file sizes we need," said Brian Eaddy, The Credit Index's senior vice president of technology. "Turbolinux stepped in to partner with us where other vendors would not. Right from the beginning Turbolinux's developers took us seriously, visiting us on site, looking at our environment, and trying to understand our exact needs." "This is another example of Turbolinux's focus on high-end computing, offering customers true enterprise-class Linux solutions and support," said Turbolinux CEO, Ly-Huong Pham. "Turbolinux was able to create a tailor-made product for the Credit Index which allows them to unite client/server and mainframe technologies through the power of Linux." Installation from, and support of, 3490 tape drive The Credit Index's customers routinely send files several gigabytes in size. It was imperative that any Linux distribution running on the mainframe support these large file sizes and the 3490 tape drive which can process up to 3MB of data per second. But, when The Credit Index went looking for a solution, the versions of Linux that were available for the mainframe lacked these key features. Turbolinux stepped in and developed a custom distribution on a tape, which included support for large file sizes and LVM (Logical Volume Manager), and even included the exact DASD and I/O addresses of the Credit Index mainframe. "Turbolinux's experience with Linux and mainframe technology -- but even more importantly, their commitment to our project -- really paid off," said The Credit Index's, Eaddy. "The software we received from Turbolinux was fully loaded. We were able to just pop the tape in and bring up Linux." Cost-savings and portability Running Linux on Intel-based servers as well as the mainframe has led to greater than anticipated costs savings for the Credit Index because it has become much easier for programmers to develop and test applications for the mainframe. Programmers can write and test applications on Linux servers and then deploy them on the mainframe. "Scheduling development time on the mainframe was a challenge," said Eaddy. "Our developers had to work around production jobs which naturally take priority. The portability of Linux allows us to dramatically decrease the time it takes to develop and deploy mainframe applications." In addition, running Turbolinux on the mainframe lets The Credit Index take advantage of a number of Linux applications already developed for the mainframe, decreasing the amount the company had been paying to third-party software developers. About Turbolinux, Inc. Founded in 1992, Turbolinux develops Linux-based software solutions for Internet and enterprise computing infrastructure, including reliable, available and scalable operating systems for workstations and servers and software clustering solutions for computing traffic management and peer-to-peer distributed computing. Backed by more than $95 million in investments from some of the world's leading technology companies, including Compaq, Dell, Fujitsu, Hitachi, IBM, Intel, NEC, Novell, Oracle, SGI and Toshiba, Turbolinux is headquartered near San Francisco with offices around the world. For more information, visit the Turbolinux Web site at www.Turbolinux.com. ### Note to Editors: Turbolinux is a registered trademark of Turbolinux, Inc. Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds. All other registered trademarks belong to their respective holders.