IBM Power Development Platform Emphasizes Linux ISVs
February 17, 2014 Dan Burger
IBM‘s continued effort and investment in nurturing Linux on Power Systems was on display last week at the annual gathering of IBM business partners known as PartnerWorld.
Access to Power Systems servers for business partners, primarily independent software providers (ISVs), has been revamped with improved tooling for Linux-oriented ISVs bringing that development arena up to par with what has existed for IBM i and AIX developers for some time. This particular partner program, which is now called the IBM Power Development Platform (PDP), was formerly known as the Virtual Loaner Program. It was established in 2003 to encourage ISV development projects and provide a cloud-based test environment for companies developing and enhancing applications.
IBM expects the cloud-based development resource to be of express interest to Linux developers seeking access to more powerful servers that are built to handle the open, collaborative applications built for big data, mobile, and social business computing. The Power7 and Power7+ servers running i and AIX in addition to Linux allow worldwide remote access for PartnerWorld members.
The PDP includes a new Linux stack with IBM DB2 10.x, IBM WebSphere 8.5.5, and other modern Linux development tools for Power. It also provides access to the IBM Software Catalog, which contains hundreds of downloadable IBM software applications. Before this effort to update the Linux development environment on Power, the Linux tooling was irreconcilably outdated.
In a prepared statement, Doug Balog, general manager of the Power Systems division, declared, “Our new development cloud will serve as a springboard for innovation from a talented development community. Providing cloud access to Power accelerates the development of applications that deliver even greater business value to our clients.”
During 2013, IBM launched Power Systems Linux Centers in Beijing, New York, Austin, Montpellier, and Tokyo. According to IBM, the centers have helped hundreds of business partners with porting, testing, certifying, and demonstrating thousands of applications on the Power platform.
Before it was rebranded as the Power Development Program and better aligned with aspects of modern computing such as the cloud, big data, analytics, mobile, and social, the Virtual Loaner Program hosted more than 700 ISVs, with between 200 and 300 using it at any given time, according to AJ Johnson, program director for the Systems and Technology Group ISV PureSystems program. Approximately half of the participation in the Virtual Loaner Program is attributable to AIX development, with about 30 percent coming from the IBM i ISV community, and 20 percent from the Linux ISVs.