New best buddies IBM and Red Hat are working together to accelerate the adoption of Linux. They have extended their relationship with the goal of steering more customers towards the take-up of Linux on the IBM E-server Z-series mainframe.

Z-series mainframe customers can order a solution that includes IBM's Integrated Facility for Linux Engine (IFL) and a subscription of Red Hat Linux Enterprise v.4 for Z-series systems. IBM and Red Hat are extending their co-marketing efforts on Red Hat Linux running on Z-series.

Implementing Linux on Z-series is done by adding an IFL to an existing mainframe system. As of the end of 2004, approximately 1,700 Z-series customers were using Linux in pilot or production. There are about 250 independent software vendors selling some 700 Linux applications on Z-series.