Mobil Travel Guide, IBM Ink Linux Deal

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2002-10-04 Print this article Print

Deal gives Mobil on-demand access to Linux-based server processing, storage and networking capacity.

IBM on Friday announced a 5-year agreement to provide the Mobil Travel Guide with on-demand access to Linux-based server processing, storage and networking capacity from IBM e-business hosting centers in the United States. Mobil Travel Guide, a published guide that uses the star rating program to identify travel and hospitality excellence in North America, will now move away from the physical Web, database and application servers it currently relies on and tap into "virtual servers" on IBM zSeries mainframes running Linux—paying for just the computing power and capacity they require. Mobil Travel Guide has also chosen IBMs WebSphere Application Server to develop and deploy their Web-based applications running on Linux. In addition, IBM will provide on-demand storage services that will enable the Guide to buy storage capacity and management services on a subscription basis.
Mobil will also use IBM computing resources to support the expansion of a new Web-based service, Mobil Companion, which will offer customized service for auto travelers. This service will launch in the U.S. later this year.
A spokeswoman for Big Blue said this was the first deal of its kind in the travel and transportation industry. Ralph Giannola, senior vice-president at Mobil Travel Guide, said IBMs Linux virtual services provides true on-demand computing power that is both flexible and cost efficient. In a separate, unrelated move, IBM, Intel Corp. and Microsoft Corp. on Friday announced an initiative to give customers a portfolio of highly scalable application solutions that are tested and proven to handle demanding e-business workloads. These will run on the IBM eServer x440 system, which supports from four to 16 processors, The goal is to accelerate the development of the Intel Xeon processor and Microsoft Windows-based solutions for enterprise customers. IBM, Intel and Microsoft are working on this initiative with systems integrators and independent software vendors, including J.D. Edwards, SAP AG and SAS. The primary objective is to bring a comprehensive, solutions-based approach to high-end Intel processor-based servers that will allow customers to combine server hardware, operating systems, software applications and middleware, such as IBM DB2 database software and Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Enterprise Edition, with systems integration, marketing and sales support, an IBM spokesman said.
Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at


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