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IBM Debuts LinuxONE Emperor II Mainframe at Open Source Summit

By Sean Michael Kerner (Send Email)
Posted September 12, 2017


LOS ANGELES — IBM is one of the founding members of the Linux Foundation and has long used Linux Foundation events as the place to announce new Linux products and services. At the Open Source Summit here on Sept. 12, IBM announced a new Linux mainframe that will provide more power and security for container workloads.

The new system is called the LinuxONE Emperor II, and it servers as the successor to the original Emperor system that IBM first announced at the LinuxCon 2015 event in Seattle.

The new LinuxONE Emperor II system offers up to 170 cores, which IBM considers to be equivalent to over 1,000 x86 cores. Beyond just the core Emperor IIprocessing compute power, the Emperor II also has an additional 640 processors that are dedicated to I/O processing in an effort to improve both performance and data integrity.

From a system memory perspective, IBM specifications enable up to 32 TB of memory. From a networking perspective, the Emperor II can support up to 96 ports with IBM's OSA-Express 6S.

Security is a core element and attribute of the Emperor II mainframe. Among the security components is a dedicated cryptographic processor and the CP Assist for Cryptographic Function (CPACF) functionality.

The Emperor II has also achieved Common Criteria EAL 5+ isolation certification. What that means is that up to 85 logical partitions (known as LPARs) can be created, each with verifiable separation and isolation.

The IBM Secure Service Containers build on the EAL 5+ LPARS isolation to help organizations securely deploy Docker containers. According to IBM, the Emperor II can scale up to two million Docker containers in a single system.

As is the case with any mainframe, the system has a large footprint and is quite literally a heavyweight. The top-end LinuxOne Emperor II system tips the scale at 5290 lbs.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at ServerWatch and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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