In late January, I wrote about the POWER8 port-and-test possibilities for ISV’s wanting to move their solutions over to Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.1 little endian mode. More recently, my IBM colleague and Linux on Power Chief Engineer Jeff Scheel, wrote in general about developing little endian applications and detailed information on what little endian means in an x86 port, performance best practices, where to start, and why now is the time for Linux on Power.
With this post, I want to put more thought behind what an individual and/or open source developer might do to get started with little endian on POWER8, and specifically with Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.1 (little endian mode), which was announced earlier this month by Red Hat.
There are a number of corporate developers and clients that have developed their own applications that are starting to see the compelling reasons for porting those apps to Linux, and specifically to Linux on Power. Open Source developers are expanding their portfolio to Power as well, and like the ISV’s I talked about a few weeks ago, these groups require system hardware to do those ports and testing on. While Jeff Scheel’s blog post talked about Power little endian porting in general, I’ll be sticking to the newest Power little endian distribution, Red Hat Enterprise 7.1 here.
Clearly the path-of-least-resistance is for developers who have access to POWER8 processor system(s), and have a Red Hat Enterprise Linux subscription. Those developers can download 7.1 and install it on their IBM POWER8 system, and start to port their application. However, what are the corporate and open source developers who do not have access to POWER8 supposed to do?
Well, there are a number of possibilities in the works, but one method developers can use today to access POWER8 systems is via the new Power Development Cloud (PDP) Open Source Developer signup. In the past, usage of the Power Cloud was reserved for those with PartnerWorld membership, and instant access was gated by eligibility checks. Wanting to quickly open up the virtues of Power to more developers, IBM has opened up the aperture, and signup and reservations can happen in less than a day.
To learn more about this free POWER8 system access, or to create a reservation, go here, click on “Try…today”, or “Let’s get started”, and begin your journey on the new IBM Power Systems!