The Linux Penguin mascot isn’t donning blue instead of black, but Linux efforts worldwide received a Big Blue boost on Tuesday.

IBM (NYSE: IBM) dedicated a new center in Europe and kicked off expanded “cloud computing” efforts as part of its beefed-up Linux efforts worth some $1 billion with announcements at LinuxCon in New Orleans.

News reports on Monday and ahead of the formal announcement on Tuesday had reported IBM’s intentions.

“Many companies are struggling to manage big data and cloud computing using commodity servers based on decades-old, PC era technology. These servers are quickly overrun by data which triggers the purchase of more servers, creating unsustainable server sprawl,” IBM’s Vice President of Power Development Brad McCredie explained. “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 latest IBM “Power Systems Linux Center” is located in Montpellier, France.

“The new center is among a growing network of centers around the world where software developers can build and deploy new applications for big data, cloud, mobile and social business computing on open technology building blocks using Linux and the latest IBM POWER7+ processor technology,” IBM said.

Other centers opened recently with an emphasis on IBM’s high-end Power products in New York, Austin, texas, and Beijing.

To help developers test Linux on IBM Power servers in the cloud, Bog Blue says it will now offer a “no-charge cloud service” that is intended 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.”

[IBM ARCHIVE: Check out more than a decade of IBM stories as reported in WRAL Tech Wire.]