IBM introduced its new LinuxONE systems this week, to widespread applause. They’re the world’s most massively scalable, reliable, and secure Linux servers, quite simply. A single LinuxONE machine can handle about 8,000 VMs and tens of thousands of Docker containers, for example. That’s important because there are many applications and information systems, particularly those involving analytics, that really don’t run well on smaller servers. Some applications take days or weeks to run on large numbers of smaller servers when they can run in hours or minutes on the new LinuxONE servers.

Then there are economic factors. It’s often, typically a heck of a lot less expensive to run one or a couple servers than it is to run hundreds or thousands, even when the software is “free.” Simplicity is powerful…and affordable. I also like how IBM is offering these machines even when you get one on premises: nothing to pay up front, then pay for what you use over 36 months. Subject to a simple minimum, of course. That’s exactly like public clouds and volume discounts — but on premises if you prefer.

Canonical is bringing Ubuntu to these new LinuxONE systems, joining Novell SuSE and Red Hat that are already there. Ubuntu Linux distributions are also getting popular, particularly in public clouds and in client devices (point of sale, kiosks, customer service desktops, etc.) More official options are good to have, obviously.

IBM explains more in this video.

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