Use of Linux Grows in Public Sector

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2004-06-14 Print this article Print

Red Hat and other open-source companies are making strides as the public sector seeks their solutions to "increase security, save money and address the needs of management."

Public-sector deployments of Linux are continuing to grow at the expense of Unix and Windows.

The latest Linux win is the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts (AOUSC), in Washington, which provides administrative support, program management and policy development services to U.S. federal courts. The administrative office is migrating applications from Solaris to Linux using Hewlett-Packard Co.s ProLiant servers that are running Red Hat Inc.s Enterprise Linux Advanced Server and HPs StorageWorks tape libraries.

In a deal to be announced this week, BakBone Software Inc., of San Diego—which offers Linux support and certification of its NetVault data management software on Red Hat Linux and ProLiant servers—was awarded a contract through outsourcer The Titan Corp. to provide software and support to the AOUSC.

The contract is part of the seven-year, $17 million server integration contract Titan signed with the AOUSC in December. The AOUSC will also deploy IBMs Informix database software and BakBones VaultDR (disaster recovery) application to multiple remote sites, with 700 to 1,000 such server deployments expected over the next three years.

Embracing Linux

Other recent new deployments

  • U.S. Department of Agriculture Linux/Windows environment including a library running Sybase
  • The College Board Linux/Windows/ Mac environment with NetApp and Oracle
  • National Institutes of Health SAN environment with NetApp, MySQL and Oracle backing up to tape
  • The Marine Corps Community Services division Linux/Solaris/ Windows with NetApp and Oracle
  • Government customers such as the U.S. Air Forces Electronics Systems Command have welcomed the adoption of industry-driven standards, which allow the Department of Defense to stay up-to-date with commercial technology innovations using the self-governance model of the Linux community, said Matt Mleziva, program director of the defense information infrastructure for the Air Force, in Washington.

    IBM set a record for Linux-based revenue. Click here to read more. Red Hat is also seeing interest in other areas of the public sector, said officials from the Raleigh, N.C., company.

    Red Hat reported 87,000 units of Enterprise Linux sold last quarter, which was about double the number sold in the previous quarter. The company also recently made its Security Enhanced Linux available as part of Fedora Core 2, Test 2, which officials said is the most significant milestone in its security road map for Enterprise Linux.

    Some customers, such as John Lewis, security systems engineer for the city of Charlottesville, Va., are deploying Red Hat solutions because of the perception that they are more secure than proprietary solutions.

    "Prior to my arrival, the department and the city of Charlottesville was 100 percent Microsoft," Lewis said. "Since then, we began a campaign to increase security, save money and address the needs of management. We chose to standardize on Red Hat."

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    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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