Systems giant IBM is to open its wallet and write out another $1bn cheque to support the development of open source operating system Linux in an era of cloud computing and big data.
The investment was announced at LinuxCon North America in New Orleans on Tuesday.
"Many companies are struggling to manage big data and cloud computing using commodity servers based on decades-old, PC era technology," IBM fellow and vice president of Power development Brad McCredie told LinuxCon.
He continued: "These servers are quickly overrun by data which triggers the purchase of more servers, creating un-sustainable server sprawl. The era of big data calls for a new approach to IT systems; one that is open, customizable, and designed from the ground up to handle big data and cloud workloads."
The investment is intended to help develop both Linux and other open source technologies running on IBM's Power Systems servers. "The investment aims to help clients capitalize on big data and cloud computing with modern systems built to handle the new wave of applications coming to the data centre in the post-PC era," said IBM in a statement.
Part of that $1bn investment includes the new IBM Power Systems Linux Centre for developers, clients and partners in Montpellier, France. This joins similar centres in Asia and North America where software developers can build and deploy new applications for big data, cloud, mobile and social business computing on technology building blocks using Linux running on IBM Power7+-based servers.
The other main area of investment for IBM will be developing Linux on Power for the cloud. "The no-charge cloud service is ramping up its infrastructure to provide more businesses the ability to prototype, build, port and test Linux applications on the Power platform as well as applications built for AIX and IBM I [formerly OS/400]," said IBM.
The last time IBM put together a $1bn Linux investment programme - back in 2000 - it stimulated a flurry of further investments across the computer industry and helped to cement Linux's place as a legitimate option in organisations' server rooms and data centres.