A reader, Chris, wrote in with the following question: I saw this article in December 2008 (on OpenSolaris on IBM System z) but it appears to be from December 2007. Is this reality or hype?
Sun Microsystems’ OpenSolaris on the IBM System z mainframe is a reality, although time will tell whether actual use of it in production will grow to a sustainable level. A company called Sine Nomine Associates did most of the work in getting OpenSolaris working on the mainframe, but had help both from Sun Microsystems and IBM. After working on and testing it for three years, Sine Nomine Associates announced in October that OpenSolaris on the IBM System z mainframe was ready and available. The project has support from Sun on its OpenSolaris site, as well as IBM, which announced in November that OpenSolaris could start running on a mainframe specialty processor called the Integrated Facility for Linux (IFL), which was originally designed to just run Linux applications.
It’s still early in the game, and whether anyone is actually using OpenSolaris on the IBM System z mainframe in production is in question, and not likely. Whether it can grow in popularity like Linux on the IBM System z mainframe is also in question, although it took zLinux quite a few years to catch on with the mainframe crowd.