Novell Celebrates 10 Years of Market Leadership with SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for IBM System z

June 7, 2010

Market leader for Linux on System z celebrates open source product innovations, customer and partner success


In recognition of the 10 year anniversary of Linux* on IBM System z*, Novell today announced customer adoption, open source product innovation and ISV and partner support of SUSE® Linux Enterprise Server for IBM* System z. As the market leader for Linux on System z, Novell is the only operating system vendor to support Linux on IBM mainframe servers for its entire 10 year history and continues to capture market share with new customers and channel partners. Since 2000, when SUSE Linux Enterprise Server became the first commercially-available enterprise Linux distribution for IBM System z mainframes, Novell has delivered Linux-based mainframe solutions that customers across all industries can deploy to expand their critical applications and workloads.

"Ten years ago we introduced SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for System z as the first commercial, enterprise-class, fully-supported Linux distribution for IBM mainframes," said Markus Rex, senior vice president and general manager of Open Platform Solutions at Novell. "Over the years our momentum has only increased and today Novell is the market-leading Linux platform for System z. We are recognized for our ability to generate ROI for our customers through the consolidation of distributed workloads, reduction of downtime and data center complexity, and increase in operating flexibility."

Customers embrace Linux for System z
Over the past 10 years numerous customers have deployed Linux on IBM System z mainframe servers. Customers who have achieved success with SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for System z include Bank of Russia, BlueCross BlueShield of Minnesota, Boston University, Casas Bahia, Deutsche Rentenversicherung Baden-Württemberg, Dundee City Council, EBS Building Society, EFiS, Gruppo API, Miami-Dade County, Nationwide Insurance and University of Arkansas.

"The performance and reliability of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for System z has been excellent," said Gerard Shockley, IT Manager at Boston University. "We've run multiple workloads in a production environment for at least four years and have experienced zero system failures. In my opinion Novell has delivered an impressive technology set for System z Linux, with the most complete set of offerings for different types of workloads."

Adrienne DiPrima, manager of Strategic Technologies Support for Miami-Dade County in Florida, said, "We're responsible for serving the needs of millions of citizens. SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for System z enables us to roll out new services quickly, and provides us with an extremely scalable, cost-effective and well-supported operating system."

10 years of product innovation
In early 2000, IBM, based on client demand, expanded use of open source software and enabled Linux to run on IBM mainframe computers. With the mainframe's reliability, availability and serviceability coupled with a suite of robust virtualization capabilities, customers saw the mainframe as an ideal platform on which to run multiple Linux servers to make more efficient use of their computing resources. This combination of Linux on System z is now an outstanding platform to support cloud computing as well.

Milestones include:

  • In 1999, a year before IBM officially supported Linux on the mainframe, SUSE Linux (acquired by Novell in 2004) began its collaboration with IBM and Marist College to move the available Linux code into an enterprise-ready Linux distribution for mainframes.
  • In 2000, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for S/390 became the only commercial, enterprise-class, fully-supported Linux distribution for IBM mainframes. That same year, Telia, the largest telecommunications company in Sweden, became the first large commercial customer for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for S/390.
  • In 2001, SUSE Linux and IBM formalized their technical partnership and collaboration.
  • In 2002, IBM released a 64-bit version of the S/390 mainframe. SUSE Linux was the first to make a Linux distribution available as a 64-bit version for this architecture.
  • In 2009, Novell released SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 for System z, delivering cost-effective, mission-critical computing with support for advanced new System z capabilities.
  • Today, IBM and Novell continue to work together to bring new workloads to the mainframe, such as .NET-based applications running on Novell's Mono runtime environment on System z.

"Ten years ago when we introduced Linux on IBM System z, clients used this combination to consolidate hundreds or even thousands of inefficient smaller systems on to a single, powerful IBM mainframe that harnessed the power of open source software," said Carol Stafford, vice president of IBM System z sales. "Today, Linux on System z offers a powerful combination used by more than 1,300 clients around the world to run business critical transaction such as powering global financial networks. With the help of partners like Novell, we now have more than 3,150 applications for Linux on System z and are driving new workloads to the platform including recent customers Korea's Dongbu Insurance using Linux on the System z to support their core business and prepare for growth."

Channel partners and ISVs support SUSE Linux Enterprise for System z
Today of the 3,150 System z Linux applications IBM supports, more than 1,000 certified third-party commercial applications are available in Novell's ISV catalog for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for System z including applications from Chordiant Software, IBM Cognos, IBM DB2, IBM WebSphere, IBM Tivoli and SAP. When including open source packages to the number of third-party applications, customers and partners can run more than 3,000 applications supported for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for System z. The SUSE Linux Enterprise for System z ecosystem is also enhanced with numerous channel partners, including Computacenter, Infinity, MSI Systems Integrators, Mainline, PROFI AG, Sirius and Vicom Infinity.

"For 10 years, Mainline has provided more than 125 customers on more than 150 System z systems with Linux-based solutions that lower costs, increase efficiency and improve productivity, which goes to show the consistent and continuing demand for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for System z in the marketplace," said Doug Harrell, vice president of System z at Mainline, an IBM Premier Business Partner and System z partner.

For more information on SUSE Linux Enterprise for System z, visit

About Novell

Novell, Inc. (Nasdaq: NOVL), a leader in Intelligent Workload Management, helps organizations securely deliver and manage computing services across physical, virtual and cloud computing environments. We help customers reduce the cost, complexity, and risk associated with their IT systems through our solutions for identity and security, systems management, collaboration and Linux based operating platforms. With our infrastructure software and ecosystem of partnerships, Novell integrates mixed IT environments, allowing people and technology to work as one. For more information, visit

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