IBM reflects on 10 years of open source

Ten years after Big Blue first got into open source--and the Linux operating system, in particular--the company continues to drive an innovative, safe agenda.

I still remember when IBM committed $1 billion to Linux.

I don't know that anyone actually knew what that meant at the time, in terms of where and how IBM would spend it, but one thing I knew as the employee of an embedded Linux vendor: with IBM in the Linux game, Linux was suddenly mainstream. IBM was putting its brand behind it, and IBM's brand was rock-solid.

Roughly 10 years after IBM first started dabbling with Linux in earnest, it has built up an impressive track record of open-source involvement. SearchEnterpriseLinux has a great interview with Inna Kuznetsova, the director of IBM Linux strategy, which covers a lot of ground relative to IBM and open source.

In particular, I liked reading about how IBM continues to improve Linux and open source for the mainstream:

Over the past year, as Linux adoption has moved from the edge of the network to mission-critical applications, business-critical workloads, such as enterprise resource planning applications, have become a growth area for IBM, Kuznetsova said.

Simultaneously, IT decisions have trickled down from IT chiefs to management. These managers have demonstrated greater support for Linux but also a stronger demand for security, availability, and services. IBM has met these needs, with hosted computing on demand on the mainframe running Linux, which is especially helpful for peak workloads, she said.

The open-source community owes a great deal to IBM. Of course, IBM has benefited tremendously from open source. Perhaps we're even?

Tech Culture
About the author

    Matt Asay is chief operating officer at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Prior to Canonical, Matt was general manager of the Americas division and vice president of business development at Alfresco, an open-source applications company. Matt brings a decade of in-the-trenches open-source business and legal experience to The Open Road, with an emphasis on emerging open-source business strategies and opportunities. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mjasay.


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