IBM is working with ISVs to train them on Solaris-to-Linux migrations. The companys also doing "some things with Red Hat [Inc.] to provide additional information, since they are being specifically targeted by Sun as well as new customer offerings and events," Handy said.
The strategy seems to be working. First National Bank of Omaha recently chose IBM to consolidate and simplify the banks core operations, consolidating 30 Sun servers and EMC Corp. storage onto IBMs eServer zSeries 990 mainframe.
Kenneth Kucera, a senior vice president at the bank, said the consolidation allowed the bank "to only have to maintain a handful of servers … making the task much less complex and expensive. Fewer servers also means fewer network connections to safeguard, which helps us provide network security at a lower cost."
IBM has added 2,500 new applications to its Linux portfolio in 2004, bringing the total to 6,000, a number it plans to double by the end of 2007. "Frankly, from an ecosystem point of view, there is no room for a third alternative on x86," he said. "You have Windows, the incumbent and Linux, which is growing strongly. There is just no room for a high-volume third price x86 player. There never is. Its too little, too late, unrealistic. The trend toward Linux is unstoppable."
But Sun officials disagree and accuse IBM of deliberately trying to slow down the adoption of Solaris on x86. Larry Singer, vice president of Suns Global Information Systems Strategy Office, in Santa Clara, Calif., recently told eWEEK that IBMs decision not to test, certify and support its enterprise software applications on Solaris 10 for x86 platforms "smacks of monopolistic behavior."
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