Bitfinex, a Hong Kong-based Bitcoin exchange, had about $60 million worth of Bitcoin stolen. The exchange has halted deposits and withdrawals, leaving its customers in the lurch. It’s yet another massive security breach within the cryptocurrency world. Of course the Bitcoin shared ledger (and its underlying Blockchain algorithms) worked perfectly, as designed: they allowed the thief or thieves to pocket the stolen Bitcoin.
Bitcoin is only one Blockchain technology-based application. In my view Bitcoin is only interesting for historical reasons: it was first. For all Blockchain applications, IBM offers the most highly secure Blockchain execution environment. With Common Criteria EAL 5+ certified separation of virtual environments, FIPS 140-2 Level 4 certification, the IBM Secure Services Container architecture, CryptoExpress5 key security, and much more — all unique, all state-of-the-art, all extremely secure. LinuxONE provides the best tools available to secure your Blockchain execution environment. You really ought to do that, and now you can most easily.
Connor Krukosky, an 18 year old college student, has installed an IBM z890 mainframe in his parents’ basement in Maryland. He posted some photos of his personal mainframe, and at last report (on IBM-MAIN) he has successfully booted Linux on z and can connect. His next task is to get some disk storage attached and working. You can follow his progress on the IBM-MAIN list.
Connor reports that he paid $237 for his mainframe, a capacity model 320 (approximately 120 PCIs according to IBM’s LSPR table). That means that Connor’s z890 has 3 of its 4 main processor cores configured as CPs, and CPs are technically capable of running any workloads, including Linux. It’s possible the 4th core is configured as some other engine type, though that’s unclear at this point. The z890 was available with anywhere from 8GB to 32GB of main memory, so Connor should have plenty of memory to support his personal mainframe workloads. It’s unclear exactly what I/O adapters he has installed in his particular machine, but the z890 was available with 2Gbps FICON/FCP and 10Gbps Ethernet.
IBM introduced the z890 in 2004 and halted new z890 sales in 2007. The z800 was its predecessor, and the z9BC was its successor. One of the reasons Connor likely got a great price on his used z890 is because z/OS 1.13 is the last release of z/OS compatible with this model. There are still some Linux distributions compatible with the z890, however.
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.