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PHP on Mainframes

I spent Monday with the Metropolitan VM Users Association, a user group for folks involved with VM, IBM’s venerable virtualization OS. Since VM now supports Linux as a guest OS, VM folks can use all sorts of popular software, like PHP, that they couldn’t back in their pre-Linux days. That’s why they asked me to give a talk about PHP.

I learned a lot about VM – the kinds of tasks that folks are using it and the hulking machines it runs on to do. A large database of customer records, travel plans, medical information, or other data typically has a few interfaces to it: TN3270-style text entry screens, IVR phone access, and a web interface. A Linux guest under VM using PHP to provide the web interface to the data can be a great choice for VM users.

In another kind of implementation, Marist College provides virtual Linux servers for undergraduates taking CS and IT classes. They also have some virtual Linux machines under VM for web mail access with IMP and other tasks. They’ve got about 500 virtual servers running now, with more coming online each semester (and some going away each semester as students graduate.)

Separately, I was talking to someone a few weeks ago who was attempting to run PHP on his AS/400 using PASE, an OS/400 package that lets you run AIX binaries.

There’s a lot of opportunity out there for PHP in these legacy/enterprise environments.

Tagged with php