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InfoQ Homepage News New Linux-Only Mainframes Support Chef

New Linux-Only Mainframes Support Chef

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IBM has recently announced the LinuxONE. This is an expansion of their mainframe strategy consisting of a new portfolio of hardware, software and services solutions, which provides two distinct Linux systems for large enterprises and mid-size businesses.

IBM will enable open source and industry tools and software on z Systems. IBM has announced Chef and Docker support, together with other open source tools such as Apache Spark, Node.js, MongoDB, MariaDB or PostgreSQL.

Matt Ray, director of partner integration at Chef, detailed the roadmap for Chef support to InfoQ: 

We are supporting Chef client and server on the the Linux distributions running on those mainframes. Initially we will be supporting Red Hat 6 and 7 and SLES 11sp4 and 12 on zLinux. Those platforms will be included in our continuous integration pipeline and part of every release we make, just like Red Hat 6 or 7 on x86 

Chef does not support zOS systems and it is not planning to do so in the future. Supporting zLinux mainframes now means that "users will be able to use the same tool across all of their infrastructure, whether it is Linux on x86 or Power (also supported) or zLinux, Windows, Solaris or AIX", according to Ray.

Specific documentation will be released by Chef in order to help engineers to implement it on mainframes:

We are just starting development but we will be providing documentation for all of the supported zLinux platforms... If any special steps are required for zLinux we will open source and document as well... Unfortunately we don't have any public-facing documentation yet for this integration. What we do have is a Statement of Work with IBM with deadlines for December for initial releases

IBM is also creating the LinuxONE Developer Cloud to provide open access to the development community. The cloud acts as a virtual R&D engine for the creation, testing and piloting of emerging applications. “It's up to the developers to determine the applications, but these could be new mobile or hybrid cloud apps,” said Joe Guy Collier, IBM Media Relations.

Marist College and Syracuse University’s School of Information Studies plan to host clouds that provide developers access to a virtual IBM LinuxONE at no cost. As part of the program, IBM also will create a special cloud for independent software providers (ISVs) hosted at IBM sites in Dallas, Beijing and Boeblingen, Germany, that provide application vendors access and a free trial to LinuxONE resources to port, test and benchmark new applications for the LinuxONE and z Systems platform.

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