DataKinetics, East Carolina University, Hitachi Data Systems and Sine Nomine Associates to contribute to project; technical areas of focus and new internship program accelerate development

LAS VEGAS, IBM Interconnect 2016, February 23, 2016 – The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, today announced an expansion of its Open Mainframe Project that will further collaboration among industry and academic partners and create areas of focus for advancing Linux on the mainframe for the benefit of the community and industry.

Launched just six months ago, the Open Mainframe Project is adding four new members, including DataKinetics, East Carolina University, Hitachi Data Systems and Sine Nomine Associates. These new investments signal the importance of this technical and market collaboration as Linux on the mainframe continues to grow. The Open Mainframe Project is also announcing areas of technical focus as determined by its Technical Steering Committee (TSC) - JIT for OpenJDK, Docker support, Blockchain and Linux monitoring tools - and a new internship program in which students will work with industry professionals to complete real-world projects for Linux on the mainframe.

“Linux continues to be embraced by more mainframe organizations than any other platform because of the flexibility it provides,” said Len Santalucia, chairperson of the Open Mainframe Project Governing Board. “The newest investments in the Open Mainframe Project demonstrate the importance of this work, as does the commitment to specific areas of technical focus and a formal internship program that can speed innovation and bring to bear new ways to take advantage of this powerful technology.”

Growth in Members Expands an Already Diverse Set of Organizations

DataKineticsis the global leader in data performance and optimization solutions. The company optimizes data throughput and processing speeds for the world’s largest banks, credit card, brokerage, insurance, healthcare, retail and telecommunication organizations.

“We’ve spent the past 38 years working with our Fortune 500 customers to solve business and IT challenges. As such, we understand the unique challenges and critical need for scalable solutions,” said Allan Zander, chief executive officer, DataKinetics. “As a proud member of the Open Mainframe Project, we’re eager to collaborate and contribute to the future technologies that further enhance the value of the mainframe to the industry.”

East Carolina University (ECU) is a national research university enrolling more than 27,000 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students. Within the College of Engineering and Technology at ECU, programs in information and computer technology and computer science have offered mainframe curriculum components and even complete mainframe courses since 2012.

“ECU will continue to grow our mainframe curriculum as it is consistent with the strategic goals of the College of Engineering and Technology, as well as ECU. Moreover, ECU believes mainframe skills provide our students with an excellent opportunity to obtain career positions with established companies,” said Joel Sweatte, director of IT and adjunct faculty member for the College of Engineering and Technology. “ECU perceives the Open Mainframe Project as an excellent vehicle to meld our already extensive Linux curriculum with the growing mainframe curriculum. North Carolina, the university, and our students benefit from our participation in the Open Mainframe Project.”

Hitachi Data Systems, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi Ltd, that provides modular mid-range and high-end storage systems, software and services.

“Hitachi Data Systems is happy to join forces with IBM and others in the Open Mainframe Project to expand the ecosystem around Linux and open source software on the mainframe,” said Roberto Basilio, VP Product Management at Hitachi Data Systems. “Joining the Open Mainframe Project gives Hitachi a chance to lend its expertise in mainframe, storage, real-time automation, cloud-standards and software-defined infrastructure to this growing community and adds to our extensive open standards project participation.”

Sine Nomine Associates is an IT research and custom development engineering firm that transforms emerging technology into practical business solutions.

"The Open Mainframe Project is an important innovation as it provides a focal point for the long-term planning, deployment and exploitation of Linux on the mainframe,” said Neale Ferguson, engineer at Sine Nomine Associates. “Linux on the mainframe has come a long way since it was released as patches in 1999. It has evolved from an adjunct to an organization’s IT environment to being front-and-centre. Now is the time to build on the momentum and ensure and coordinate the growth of this technology.”

Organizations involved in mainframe computing and Linux can learn more about membership opportunities at: https://www.openmainframeproject.org/about/members

Technical Initiatives Defined for Platform Growth

The Open Mainframe Project’s TSC is announcing its focus areas in 2016, which emphasize compatibility and support for rapidly growing technologies. 

  • JIT for OpenJDK. This work will focus on adding JIT support to the z port of OpenJDK, enabling a variety of up-stack open source projects that inherently depend on OpenJDK.
  • Docker support. This effort will look at accelerating the Docker ecosystem on the mainframe. It will also leverage key mainframe know-how to enhance Docker for highly-available virtualized systems. 
  • Blockchain support, which will focus on performance of and enhancements to the Hyperledger Projectand target Linux on the mainframe.
    • Assessment and certification of popular Linux monitoring tools on Linux on the mainframe.
    • Acceptance of the Anomaly detection engine for Linux logs, a contribution originally from IBM. The code is available today at Github: https://github.com/openmainframeproject/ade.

Developers and mainframe enthusiasts can learn more about how to get involved with these efforts at: https://wiki.linuxfoundation.org/openmainframeproject/tsc/projectplanning

Internship Program Launched to Grow Student Engagement

The Open Mainframe Project is also announcing a new internship program, which will both grow student contribution and advance the efforts to lower the barrier to entry for Linux on the mainframe. 

Students will be paired with mentors who are professionals in the mainframe space and work with them to complete a project over a 10-week period. At the end of the internship, students will participate at a leading mainframe conference to showcase the work they’ve done, putting them in front of potential employers in the industry.

The Open Mainframe Project will accept eight interns through this program. The deadline for submissions is March 25, 2016. Interested students can learn more on how to apply at the following link: https://wiki.linuxfoundation.org/openmainframeproject/internprogram

About the Open Mainframe Project

The Open Mainframe Project provides a neutral home for community meetings, events and collaborative development for Linux on the mainframe and involves key academic institutions in order to increase the future talent pool of mainframe practitioners and technical experts. The Open Mainframe Project identifies ways to leverage new software and tools in the Linux environment that are ideal for taking advantage of the mainframe's speed, security, scalability and availability; seeks to significantly broaden the set of tools and resources that are intended to drive development and collaboration of mainframe Linux; and aims to coordinate mainframe improvements to upstream projects to increase the quality of these code submissions and ease upstream collaboration. For more information, please visit: https://www.openmainframeproject.org/

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