HP, IBM Notch New Linux Customer Wins

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2002-08-08

HP, IBM Notch New Linux Customer Wins

Hewlett-Packard Co. and IBM on Thursday will both announce a slew of new Linux customer wins.

HP also will announce updated Linux software releases, services and community developments. The Cupertino, Calif., companys announcements come some 100 days after its merger with Compaq Computer Corp. and ahead of next weeks LinuxWorld Conference and Expo in San Francisco, where HP has invited several hundred of its top customers to a closed-door briefing on its future Linux strategy.

Mike Balma, HPs Linux business strategist, told eWEEK that the new company would continue to aggressively push its Linux offerings. "We took the best of both companies and melded them into one.

"We have already made 12 different Linux partner and product announcements since the merger, and we continue to see enormous support from our customers around the operating system," he said.

This is evidenced by the two new Linux-customer wins HP plans to announce on Thursday. The first, NYSE-listed L-3 Communications Corp., a major player in aerospace and defense technology, has already integrated hundreds of HP-based 3-D workstations running Linux into its eXaminer 3DX 6000 machines, which are used for detecting explosives in checked luggage at airports in the United States and abroad.

Another new HP customer win is Media Temple Inc., a privately held Web hosting and software application services company in Los Angeles.

Media Temple had been using Dell servers running Linux but recently switched to Linux on HPs ProLiant servers because "they felt when they really needed Linux support and help it was not there," Judy Chavis, the director of Linux marketing for HP in Houston, told eWEEK.

For its part, IBM plans to roll out nine new customers who have chosen its Linux solutions. John Sarsgard, vice president of Linux Solutions for IBM in Somers, N.Y., told eWEEK that the sheer number of customers adopting Linux and its prevalence across all industries and sectors of the economy proved that the operating system had come of age.

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"Our latest customer wins span the travel, retail, government and service provider industries," he said.

These include Air New Zealand, which plans to replace some 150 Compaq servers with a single eServer zSeries IBM mainframe running Linux and IBMs Websphere Application Server software.

The plan will allow Air New Zealand to move some 4,000 Microsoft Exchange e-mail and file and print clients to the Bynari open-source e-mail application.

On the retail front, new IBM Linux customers include the global convenience retailer, 7-Eleven, which is now running the Trustix Mail Server with AntiVirus scanning on an IBM eServer xSeries environment running Linux.

Wolfermans, a gourmet baked goods company in Kansas, will use IBM business partner eOne Group to handle the more than one million online shoppers per day the company expects during the holiday season.

To power its e-commerce site, Wolfermans will use the IBM Linux cluster, which includes eServer x330 systems, WebSphere software and DB2 database software.

In the service provider industry, Triaton GmbH, a multinational e-business consulting firm, has standardized on IBM software and hardware to provide Web-based business intelligence solutions for medium-sized businesses.

Triatons Business Intelligence Service Providing solutions are powered by IBMs DB2 database software for Linux running on a four-node IBM eServer xSeries cluster. This integrates and manages data from a wide variety of customer back-end systems including ERP, CRM, e-procurement, XML sources, relational databases and legacy systems.

"Clearly the real news is the sheer number of customers doing things and supporting Linux. We are working with some 4,600 customers worldwide. The cost and culture and open standards surrounding the operating system enable people to do things faster and more cost effectively," Sarsgard said.

HP on Thursday will also announce several new versions of its Linux software, including Service Control Manager 3.0, its multi-system management solution; Secure Linux 2.0, which helps businesses secure their Linux environments against attacks; and its Disaster Tolerance Solution 3.0 for Linux, which combines HPs MC/Serviceguard 2.0 and StorageWorks XP portfolio.

HP will also expand Linux support for its Evo Desktop, which will now be certified with Mandrake Linux in addition to the current SuSE and Red hat distributions.

"We are continuing to move forward with all of our Linux software offerings. It continues to be a strategic operating system for us," Balma said.

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