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Overview of the Linux Foundation’s Open Mainframe Project

Originally launched by the Linux Foundation, the Open Mainframe Project was established to bolstering the performance, efficiency and user accessibility of mainframe computer systems. While some may view mainframe computers as archaic or obsolete, such systems still play a critical role in the infrastructure of some major institutions. Particularly for those who work with large amounts of data or complex IT workloads on a day-to-day basis, the mainframe computer is definitely a mainstay.

More specifically, the main point is to catapult the Linux OS into standard use on mainframe computers today. Many companies have already teamed with the Linux Foundation in support of the Open Mainframe Project, including giants such as IBM, CA Technologies, RSM Partners, Compuware, L3C, Marist and more. In addition, several academic institutions have also expressed their support for the project, including North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, The Center for Information Assurance and Cybersecurity at University of Washington and University of Bedfordshire.

Additionally, the Open Mainframe Project is expected to open the door for community-oriented meetings, special events and discussions regarding mainframe systems and technology. By combining professionals from IT, academia and other areas, the Linux Foundation hopes to pave the way for upcoming and recent college graduates to make their own careers in IT.

In fact, IBM played a huge role in the establishment of the Open Source Mainframe Project. This should come as no surprise, however, especially considering the fact that IBM provides many of the mainframe systems that are in use today. IBM has also announced plans regarding the LinuxONE Developer Cloud, which is meant to facilitate cloud access in order to perform research and development on new and emerging technologies.

David Hodgson, general manager of mainframe solutions with CA Technologies, explained his company’s interests in the Open Mainframe Project. He was quoted as saying: “As the application economy brings increased workload demands to organizations, advancements are needed to promote innovation on Linux systems. CA Technologies is proud to partner with the Linux Foundation and other founding companies to help progress innovation on the mainframe. As a leader in management tools for Linux platforms both on, and off, the mainframe, we are committed to investing in mainframe innovations that are secure, reliable and cost-effective.”

Jim Zemlin, executive director with the Linux Foundation, spoke enthusiastically about the Open Mainframe Project. He was quoted as saying: “Linux today is the fastest growing operating system in the world. As mobile and cloud computing become globally pervasive, new levels of speed and efficiency are required in the enterprise and Linux on the mainframe is poised to deliver. The Open Mainframe Project will bring the best technology leaders together to work on Linux and advanced technologies from across the IT industry and academia to advance the most complex enterprise operations of our time.”

To find out more information about the Linux Foundation’s Open Source Mainframe Project, please visit their official website at Here you’ll find details regarding the latest advancements with the project, recent news and even contact information.


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