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IBM Powerizes Linux on Intel apps

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IBM has announced a beta version of a Linux environment that allows applications developed on Intel boxes to run on Power processor-based servers.

The technology – catchily titled the IBM System p Application Virtual Environment (System p AVE) – is designed to allow thousands of x86 Linux applications to run without modification on the System p hardware. p AVE creates a virtual x86 environment and file structure, and executes x86 Linux applications by dynamically translating and mapping x86 instructions and system calls to Power kit.

Announcement of the software environment follows IBM’s recent launch of three System p-based servers aimed at handling the workloads of multiple Intel servers. Server consolidation can reduce power, cooling, and space requirements, IBM argues.

Around 2,800 applications run natively on Linux on System p servers. System p AVE will allow most x86 Linux applications to run unmodified as well, expanding the x86 workloads that can be moved to a System p server. IBM said it has already signed up 25 customers as beta testers for System p AVE and wants to expand this coverage.

It plans to release the technology in the second half of 2007. ®

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