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Open Mainframe Project Announces Member Growth and Successes in Internship Program

SHARE, Canonical, GT Software, and Albany State University Are Now Contributing to the Project; New Internship Program Demonstrates Successful Outcomes in Technical Areas of Focus

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwired - September 22, 2016) - The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, today announced additional members of its Open Mainframe Project that will further collaborate among industry partners, and the completion of the first round of a new internship program, dedicated to driving awareness within academic communities.

Launched just over a year ago, the Open Mainframe Project celebrates its first birthday by adding four new members, including Albany State University, SHARE, GT Software, and Canonical. Since its inception last year, membership for the project has grown from 13 to 23 active organizations. More than 40 percent of enterprises with IBM z Systems mainframes have Linux running on the platform.

The growth of Linux on the mainframe is important because of the innovations it can provide to a platform that serves as the IT backbone of the global economy. The mainframe is the core IT system handling critical data and applications for major organizations worldwide in finance, retail, insurance, transportation and government.

New Members Expanding the Open Mainframe Ecosystem

SHARE is an independent volunteer-run information technology association that provides education, professional networking and industry influence. Executive Director and COO Donna Hudi tells us, "As enterprises around the globe continue to rely on the security and performance of the mainframe to support their business operations, equipping the next generation of IT professionals with the necessary skills and knowledge is of critical importance. SHARE is excited for the opportunity to be able to support the Open Mainframe Project's efforts to build and foster a community dedicated to Open Source support of the mainframe and to help engage the next generation of enterprise IT professionals."

Canonical was created alongside Ubuntu to help it reach a wider market. Their services help governments and businesses around the world with migrations, management, and support for Ubuntu deployments. At LinuxCon 2015 in Seattle, Canonical and IBM announced plans to create an Ubuntu distribution for LinuxONE and z Systems. Canonical working with IBM deepens mainframe commitment to open source by bringing forward the best workloads of the open world in order to help clients embrace new mobile and hybrid cloud workloads.

GT Software has revolutionized the process of accessing data to optimize business information across mainframe, distributed, and cloud platforms. GT provides Mainframe integration solutions such as "Ivory Service Architect," which allows for the quick extension of access to mainframe applications, data and processes with no code written, generated, or changed and with no additional MIPS usage. The software makes mainframe integration seamless, regardless of platform, programming language and data format. "At GT Software we are always looking for ways to remain cutting-edge and innovative in the mainframe space. By joining the Open Mainframe Project, we look forward to collaborating with other members and expanding the capabilities of our pioneering data access and integration solutions," stated by Chief Technology Officer Jeff Andrews of GT Software.

Albany State University has a mathematics and computer science department dedicated to preparing students for careers in a broad range of information technology opportunities and many related fields. The department believes in "Empowering People through Information." Kathaleena Edward Monds, Ph.D Professor of Informations systems, and Co-Director, Center for Economic Education/Small and Minority Entrepreneurship tell us, "Our engagement in the Open Mainframe Project provides an opportunity for students attending Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) exposure to important skills and technologies that will help them compete in the competitive marketplace. Albany State University students and faculty recognize the important role that mainframes are playing in the 'big data' arena; thus, we wanted to find ways to strengthen our academic and professional networks so that students are able to transfer learned knowledge from the classroom into internships and professional placements."

First round of Open Mainframe Intern Project drives interest in the Academic Community

The Open Mainframe Project has successfully completed the first round of its new internship program, aimed to accelerate the development and create awareness of mainframe systems among academic communities.

Students were paired with mentors who are professionals in the mainframe space and worked with them to complete a project over a 10-week period. At the end of the internship, the students had the opportunity to participate in a leading mainframe conference to showcase their work, putting them in front of potential employers in the industry. This year, the interns attended SHARE Atlanta:

"My experience at SHARE was one of the best experiences of my life... Having the chance to go and present what I worked on for the past 10 weeks made me feel that others cared about my work. My project was about creating docker Images of development stacks to work on LinuxONE's s390x Architecture. I am a Mainframer."
-- Allen Ng, Open Mainframe Project Intern

The Open Mainframe Project will accept another eight interns for the next round of this program. More details to come early 2017.

For more information, please visit: https://www.openmainframeproject.org/

About the Open Mainframe Project
The Open Mainframe Project provides a neutral home for community meetings, events and collaborative development for Linux on the mainframe and involves key academic institutions in order to increase the future talent pool of mainframe practitioners and technical experts. The Open Mainframe Project identifies ways to leverage new software and tools in the Linux environment that are ideal for taking advantage of the mainframe's speed, security, scalability and availability; seeks to significantly broaden the set of tools and resources that are intended to drive development and collaboration of mainframe Linux; and aims to coordinate mainframe improvements to upstream projects to increase the quality of these code submissions and ease upstream collaboration.

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