VeriSign Migrating 2,000 Unix Servers to Red Hat Linux

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2003-09-09 Print this article Print

The infrastructure service provider says the move will help reduce its operating expenses.

In the latest big win for Linux and open source, infrastructure service provider VeriSign has decided to migrate 2,000 of its high-performance Unix servers to Red Hat Enterprise Linux on Intel in a move the company says will help reduce its operating expenses. The 2,000 servers to be migrated operate across all of VeriSigns business units. The migration to Linux has already started with VeriSigns Naming and Directory Services business unit and with the deployment of Oracle on Linux for several corporate applications. The balance of the migration will take place over the next 18 months, which should lend another doubling of processing power, Dave Pool, vice president of infrastructure engineering at VeriSign, said on Tuesday.
Through its Naming and Directory Services business, VeriSign is responsible for ensuring that the information and communications of the Internet are delivered promptly and to the right addresses. As an increasing number of businesses and enterprises move their business functions to the Internet, VeriSign must maintain near total accuracy and load balancing for the billions of daily DNS queries, he said.
Pool also laid to rest the criticism that Linux is not ready for prime time and mission-critical applications, particularly at the back end. "VeriSign is migrating several significant databases to Linux, including Siebel Sales Force Automation, Clarify sales support, and business intelligence and decision support applications from Informatica and Primus," he said. Pool said he was surprised by the new pricing model for Red Hat Enterprise Linux when it was launched as he had initially compared it to the cost of in-house development of a distribution. "Because we run dozens of independent applications, we quickly realized that conformance to Enterprise Linux standards would be critical to gain third-party software support," he said. While VeriSign has a corporate strategy of keeping multiple vendors for all items, it has decided to make Red Hat its sole Linux supplier. "We have five server vendors, just to get aggressive pricing, but only Red Hat for Linux," Pool said. This latest Linux win comes as The SCO Group demands that Linux users pay it for a license that indemnifies them from litigation for use of its alleged proprietary Unix code that is found in Linux. SCO has said that license is now available for purchase and has also begun sending those businesses running Linux servers invoices. The complete case study on the migration of VeriSigns architecture to Red Hat Enterprise Linux is available at Red Hats Web site.
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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