IBM Systems Magazine, Power Systems - April 2018 - 7
experience in bridging community innovation with enterprise stability.
As enterprises look to IT to solve
a broader array of business
challenges and transform their core
operations with digital technologies,
simultaneously grow in scale and variety
By definition, an open
IT infrastructure is
built on open technologies. The most obvious
example of this is the
Linux* open-source OS.
From a purely software perspective, open source is almost
a "default" choice in today's
data center, with open software
driving a significant portion of
modern enterprise computing.
We're now seeing a similar drive
on the hardware side for open
systems and component designs,
like those embraced by the Open
Compute Project (opencompute.
org) and OpenPOWER Foundation (openpowerfoundation.org).
These allow vendors and users to
participate in a more open and
collaborative dialogue, emphasizing a focus on identifying relevant designs and making them
"real" in a shorter time frame.
We've believed in a fully open
IT infrastructure stack for years
(i.e., one that stretches from the
bare-metal foundation all the
way to the applications running
on top of the stack). Now, we
increasingly hear from clients
that they want to minimize the
impact of architectural choices
in hardware on their software
development and IT operations. In short, they want their
IT operations to be hardware
independent while reaping the
benefits of specific hardware
configurations. There's no better
time to embrace the concept of
fully open IT infrastructure.
Linux as the Leader
Opening up infrastructure starts
with the OS by offering a layer of
abstraction between the underlying hardware and surface
software. This layer softens the
blow of architectural changes
and allows easier migrations
from one architecture to another.
Linux has served as a major
enabler for open-source technologies in the data center for x86.
Today, this trend continues with
Linux helping to pave the way
for alternative architectures.
As open source officially turns
20 this year, it marks more than
two decades of enterprises and
individual developers collaborating "upstream" to better address
broader access to the latest
technology. This collaboration
has ultimately led the business
world to enterprise-grade Linux
platforms, which provide more
secure and trusted OS choices for
a variety of specialized software
stacks and frameworks.
They also provide a springboard
for additional open-source
innovation, including virtualization, containerization and
cloud computing, all based
on community-derived and
This helps the enterprise world
expand open IT infrastructure in
their environments without sacrificing the stability or reliability
that they've come to expect in
their data centers.
of Open Source
So what's next for the enablement
of alternative computing architectures, like IBM Power Systems*, in
open source? As enterprises look
to IT to solve a broader array of
business challenges and transform their core operations with
digital technologies, computational demands simultaneously
grow in scale and variety.
A common answer is to expand
the open infrastructure footprint
of a data center with the right mix
of technologies that best suit an
enterprise's unique requirements.
Open source shouldn't be tied to
one single architecture, and we
are seeking to make this a functional reality.
Open Compute Project: opencompute.org
OpenPOWER Foundation: openpowerfoundation.org
ibmsystemsmag.com APRIL 2018 // 7