The company will use tools from software makerto allow IBM x360 eServer models to run the Windows and Linux operating systems in various combinations.
IBM will discuss the VMware licensing deal later Tuesday at its Partnerworld conference. The deal fits into two Big Blue efforts: theinitiative to offer more sophisticated Intel-based servers and an overall emphasis on the open-source Linux software.
The newserver was designed to bring features from IBM's "big iron" mainframes to less expensive server hardware based on Intel Xeon processors.
By using the VMware, IBM will allow customers to run the two different operating systems, or multiple copies of each, on the same server, and thus run a wider range of applications. The software will allow each x360 server to mimic as many as 20 virtual servers, each capable of running its own OS and applications. That is, each virtual server would perform a separate task from the other 19.
IBM also this week launched the, or Raptor, a new lower-end mainframe computer, which runs Linux as well as ordinary mainframe software.