IBM Scores Six New Linux Wins in Europe

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2003-06-26 Print this article Print

The growing adoption of Linux among European government agencies comes in spite of the ongoing legal tussle between the SCO Group and IBM and SCO's warnings to users that Linux is an unauthorized derivative of Unix.

IBM continues to win Linux deals in governmental agencies across Europe, on Thursday announcing six new deals from Belgium to Finland and Spain. At a press conference in Berlin on Thursday, IBM executives announced the six new Linux customers, which include Brussels-based Union des Classes Moyennes (UCM), a government agency that calculates salaries for doctors and dentists; Finland-based Kela, one of the countrys major pension providers; the French Ministry of Education; the Fraunhofer Institute for High-Speed Dynamics, in Germany; Agencia Estatal de Administración Tributaria, a public tax agency for the Spanish Ministry of Finance; and the West Yorkshire Police force. The growing adoption of Linux among European government agencies comes in spite of the legal tussle between the SCO Group and IBM and SCOs warnings to users that Linux is an unauthorized derivative of Unix.
It also follows a recent deal in which the Munich City Council in Germany decided to deploy the Linux open-source operating system and migrate its 14,000 desktop and notebook computers away from Windows products to Linux at a cost of $35 million over a number of years.
"We are seeing continued momentum around government agencies moving to Linux, confirming the overwhelming momentum behind the open-source operating system. Governments around the world are adopting Linux in record numbers to save costs, consolidate workloads, increase efficiency and integrate their infrastructure. "Over the past twelve months IBM has seen open standards software like Linux move squarely into the mainstream for governments across Europe. Were now well past the tipping point, and todays new deals reinforce the wide-ranging benefits that open standards software brings to the public sector" Piero Corsini, IBMs vice president for the European public sector told reporters. The deals will see Brussels-based UCM consolidate its workload onto a new single Linux-based IBM eServer to lower its total cost of ownership and to improve the reliability of its service. Finnish pension fund provider Kela will consolidate its servers, replacing old systems with two eServer zSeries systems running SuSE Linux. For its part, the French Ministry of Education will implement a nationwide messaging, collaboration and e-learning solution based on IBM Lotus Notes and Domino and Red Hat Linux version 5. With this system, high school teachers can set up online bulletin boards to assign and collect homework, graduate students can do research and get feedback on their studies, while children can master computer skills, Corsini said. The Fraunhofer Institute for High-Speed Dynamics, in Freiburg, Germany, has now implemented an IBM High Performance Computing Linux Cluster, consisting of 128 IBM eServer xSeries machines running Red Hat Linux. The systems benchmark test reported a capacity of 605 gigaflops, and the institute can now more effectively research how materials shatter, deform, flow or vaporize under impact.

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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