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Red Hats de Visser said the two companies have created a "mix-and-match" structure that essentially allows the customer to decide which firm will offer support and services. "But, given the size and scale of IBM, the majority of account interaction will be in their hands," he said.
IBM will also make its key software products available on Red Hat Linux Advanced Server, starting with Intel processor-based servers like the eServer xSeries this year and expanding to additional eServer hardware in 2003.
These software products include WebSphere, the Java 2 Enterprise Edition-based infrastructure software for building and deploying Web Services; DB2; Tivoli; and Lotus. IBM already offers a comprehensive portfolio of middleware products for Linux, with more than 60 products currently available.
"Our middleware offerings will also support Advanced Server. Currently, DB2 and WebSphere support Advanced Server on the xSeries. With this announcement, IBM will expand software support for Advanced Server across our entire eServer line, for our key middleware, WebSphere, DB2, Tivoli and Lotus," Nielsen said.
The latest expansion with IBM follows several other Red Hat deals announced recently. At the LinuxWorld show in San Francisco last month the Raleigh, N.C., company announced it will support Advanced Micro Devices Inc.s upcoming 64-bit Opteron chip with a special release of its Advanced Server software next year.
Also at the show, Dell Computer Corp. announced new professional services designed to accelerate the deployment of Linux in the enterprise, part of which will be jointly delivered with Red Hat.
The agreement extends the One Source Alliance between the two companies to help customers migrate from proprietary Unix systems to Linux.