"In a nutshell, what this does is take internal Linux usage at HP up a notch. While there are currently more than 15,000 Linux-based systems in use within the company, these are umbrella license agreements for the whole company and allow us to build and deploy internal Linux systems and solutions more easily and more rapidly," Efrain Rovira, HPs worldwide director of Linux marketing in Houston, told eWEEK on Wednesday.
While Rovira declined to detail the specifics of the deal or its cost, he did say that "at this point in time, it is mostly around the operating systems. I cant disclose how many licenses were involved and how much we paid, but we bought enough to consolidate all of our existing licenses under one agreement as well as provide for significant growth beyond that," he said.
HP currently uses Linux for a variety of internal tasks such as managing its corporate directory, synchronizing its wireless network, managing its DNS infrastructure, expediting core firmware development, providing secure instant messaging worldwide, and handling more than 3TB of incoming mail a year.
David Patrick, the vice president for Linux, Open Source Platforms and Services at Novell, said that HPs growing internal embrace of Linux would accelerate the process of promoting Linux adoption at the corporate level.
"HPs enhanced use of Linux reflects a strong trend in enterprise IT, where customers are choosing the combination of open-source and traditional solutions that best works for them," he said.
HP is also not mandating that those staff who currently use Windows and Windows-based applications move to Linux.
"We are giving them the same choice that customers have, given that we support Windows, Unix and Linux. We believe that this move shows our further commitment to Linux, not just as a business beneficiary from it and open source but also as a user of the technology," Rovira said.