IBM Focuses on Linux in China, Partnered with Red Hat and SUSE

by Ostatic Staff - May. 14, 2013

In Beijing this week, IBM has announced that it is further extending its reach into China with the opening of its first Linux innovation center for Power Systems there. The center will initially be focused on Power Systems clients and business partners, and will be located inside IBM's China Systems Center. According to the company, the new center "will make it simpler for software developers to build and deploy new applications for big data, cloud, mobile and social business computing on open technology building blocks using Linux and the latest IBM POWER 7+ processor technology."

This move is one of many so far this year that illustrates how pervasive open source technologies are becoming in China, where attitudes toward open source are friendlier than in many other parts of the world.

IBM has also announced a new collaboration with Red Hat and SUSE "to meet increasing demand from businesses in China for optimized and pre-integrated computing systems running enterprise applications on Linux." The companies will use the new Linux center to help drive more Linux-based solutions of all kinds in the Chinese market. Potentially, the deal could have big positive impacts for Red Hat and SUSE, given the size of the Chinese market.

Big Data, cloud, mobile and social computing projects are on the rise in China and many open source projects have bright futures there. Mozilla's Firefox OS phones are slated to arrive there, and Android is already popular. For many U.S.-based smaller companies like Red Hat, IBM's existing infrastructure in China can represent a foot in the door.

"As enterprise adoption of Red Hat Enterprise Linux grows, companies are looking for faster and simpler ways to take advantage of it for new kinds of workloads like big data and cloud computing to achieve the best possible performance for their applications," said Dr. Sen Min Chang, General Manager for Red Hat Greater China Group, in a statement. "Red Hat and IBM have collaborated since the early days of the open source movement to bring new innovations into industries where rapid expansion is creating new opportunities for open source solutions. The new IBM Power Systems Linux Center will address these opportunities, especially for our joint Power Systems clients and partners, and we look forward to serving this important group of users together."

"Linux is at the point where the question for enterprises has shifted from 'if' to 'when' it will be used for key business applications, and 'what' is the best hardware platform to run it on," said Andy Jiang, SUSE General Manager of Greater China & Korea, in a statement. "For China, the new IBM Power Systems Linux Center will answer this question by helping to bridge skills gaps and speed up the proliferation of enterprise applications running on Linux, and enable customers and partners to understand the performance benefits of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server on Power Systems. SUSE and IBM have worked together since the early days of the Linux revolution to integrate SUSE's Enterprise Linux and open source solutions with enterprise hardware like IBM Power Systems, helping to accelerate this shift in growth markets."