So Long Then, QuickTransit Emulator
September 26, 2011 Timothy Prickett Morgan
There were so many interesting possibilities for the QuickTransit emulator created by upstart Transitive, founded by Alasdair Rawsthorne, a computer science professor at the University of Manchester. But after being absorbed into IBM‘s Power Systems division nearly two years ago, little has been heard of the innovative emulation technology, which could have been put to many uses in the service of the Power Systems platform–particularly those of us who make a living with IBM i.
Transitive came out of stealth mode in 2004 after four years of serious development and five years before that of tooling around by grad students at the University of Manchester. The original QuickTransit could move applications off mainframes and onto Itanium or RISC machines running Unix or Linux, and there was no reason why it could not be used to port emulated OS/400 and thus now i5/OS and IBM i applications to a new architecture. As far as I know, IBM has only used QuickTransit to create the PowerVM Lx86 runtime, which allows Linux applications compiled for 32-bit X86 processors to run on Linux partitions on Power-based systems. But as I said before, for all we know, IBM has it running elsewhere in its systems.
QuickTransit has been used all over the place, by Unix and Linux vendors raiding each other’s installed bases and was even used by Apple to allow for Mac OS applications compiled for PowerPC-based machines to run on X86-based machines when Apple made the jump to Core and Xeon processors a few years back. I think IBM could have used it to allow emulated HP-UX, Solaris, and Unisys and IBM mainframe workloads to run on Power Systems iron, and could have also been used to create an X86-based development machine for IBM i programmers as well as an IBM i runtime environment for older AS/400 and System/3X apps to work on modern machines without changes. But none of that ever happened. IBM bought Transitive to sit on it, as I said at the time.
In any event, in announcement letter 911-170, IBM said that effective January 27, 2012, it would stop selling the PowerVM Lx86 for X86 Linux feature (5765-AVE) for Power Systems.
Fini. Kaput. No mas. Sayonara.