OpenSolaris Runs on IBM Mainframe

IBM Outlines Benefits of Virtualization on System z and Endorses Sun's xVM Virtualization and Management Initiative

LAS VEGAS, NV - 30 Nov 2007: Gartner Data Center Conference -- IBM (NYSE: IBM), Sun Microsystems (NASDAQ: JAVA) and Sine Nomine Associates showcased a milestone demonstration on Wednesday at Gartner's Data Center Conference, showing the OpenSolaris(TM) code base running on an IBM mainframe, illustrating the Solaris(TM) Operating System (OS) and the mainframe's powerful ability to virtualize the data center.

Complementing this news, IBM also endorsed Sun's xVM initiative. IBM and Sun believe in an open, comprehensive virtualization and management platform that increases customer value and choice.

Today's news demonstrates important progress for Solaris compatibility between IBM and Sun, since the companies announced in August that IBM was expanding support for the Solaris OS. To see the complete press announcement from Aug. 16, 2007, visit

"Momentum surrounding Sun's Solaris Operating System and Sun xVM virtualization continues to grow, and we're thrilled to be able to reach new customers and market opportunities alongside IBM," said Rich Green, executive vice president, Software, Sun Microsystems. "Broadening our collaboration with IBM expands the reach of Solaris and Sun xVM to the mainframe marketplace, and brings the benefit of open source operating systems and open source virtualization to the highest scale datacenters in the world."

OpenSolaris on System z Mainframe Demonstrated
Earlier this week, IBM, Sun Microsystems and Sine Nomine Associates demonstrated for the first time ever, the OpenSolaris code base running on an IBM mainframe. The demonstration for customers, Gartner analysts and press follows Sine Nomine's announcement last year of an independent project to do the port and August's announcement that IBM and Sun would investigate a project to port OpenSolaris to the System z mainframe.

Building on the innovation, flexibility, and product improvements happening within the OpenSolaris community, this demonstration is an example of a port of this flexible open source operating system to run on yet another architecture. The work is being undertaken by Sine Nomine Associates, a research and engineering firm based in Ashburn, Virginia.

"The future of the data center lies in virtualization's ability to reduce skyrocketing energy and maintenance costs," said James Stallings, general manager, IBM System z. "Corporations around the world have for years relied on the IBM mainframe -- which pioneered virtualization -- to run their businesses. The Solaris Operating System is similarly prevalent in data centers. It makes perfect sense to marry these two stalwarts in a virtualized mainframe environment."

David Boyes, president and chief technologist at Sine Nomine, commented, "For Sine Nomine, the ability to add Solaris to the menu of options for massive-scale virtualization on multiple platforms formed an almost irresistible challenge. We had to apply learnings from our work on the original Linux enablement on the mainframe to other shared resource environments. We also needed to cooperate closely with IBM and Sun to ensure that we preserved the best parts of both environments and the skills that enterprises have built around Solaris. We are very pleased to be a partner in this cooperative effort. This is a strategic step for all three companies to present an even more compelling argument to enable production scale virtualization across the enterprise."

In the demonstration, OpenSolaris runs within the mainframe's z/VM, the industry's most powerful virtualization technology. z/VM enables more than 1,000 virtual images on a single hypervisor -- allowing customers to further optimize their infrastructures. The Solaris Operating System offers a powerful feature set, including Solaris ZFS, and Solaris Dynamic Tracing (DTrace) to help customers improve uptime, cut costs and speed time to market.

z/VM already provides the foundation for running Linux on the mainframe. In recent years, many mainframe customers have selected Linux for a variety of new workloads, such as Web serving and virtual worlds.

Unique among servers, the mainframe was designed from the beginning to incorporate processors that handle a variety of specialized tasks. For example, so-called "specialty processors" are designed for processing eligible Linux, Java(TM) software and data workloads as well as encrypting and decrypting certain data.

For more information about OpenSolaris, visit and for Sun's virtualization offerings, Sun xVM, visit Sun has also announced that it will release the source code used to build Sun xVM Ops Center, a highly scalable datacenter automation tool, under the General Public License version 3 (GPLv3). For more information on the open source community for developers building next-generation datacenter virtualization and management technologies, visit

For more information about IBM, please visit

For more information on Sine Nomine Associates, please visit

For more information about Sun Microsystems, please visit

Sun, Sun Microsystems, the Sun logo, OpenSolaris, Solaris, Java and The Network Is The Computer are trademarks or registered trademarks of Sun Microsystems, Inc. in the United States and other countries.

Contact(s) information
Mylissa Tsai
IBM System z Media Relations
(914) 766-4294
Jacki DeCoster
Sun Microsystems
415) 294-4482

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