Linux Finds Way in Enterprise

Wares debuting at LinuxWorld to showcase Linux's scalability and stability.

As the Linux community gathers in New York this week for LinuxWorld, the consensus among the faithful is that the open-source platform is coming of age.

A year after the 2.4 kernel was released, there is a greater confidence in Linuxs scalability and stability, which will be reflected in a number of new offerings on display at the show.

"There has been a true shift in terms of Linuxs penetration in the enterprise over the past six months. The release of the 2.4 kernel was a big part of that turning point," said Paul Cornier, the executive vice president of engineering at Linux vendor Red Hat Inc., in Research Triangle Park, N.C.

Red Hat this week will preview the beta of Red Hat Advanced Server, an enterprise-class version of Red Hat Linux 7 due for release later this year. Advanced Servers kernel is compiled for data center deployments and includes failover load balancing, clustering and more stability, Cornier said.

Red Hat will also announce this week expanded enterprise offerings for its network management subscription service. The Red Hat Network Workgroup service will gain capabilities for securely managing open-source systems in the enterprise through a single Web interface.

Enterprise users agree that there has been more acceptance of Linux in the past year. Mike Prince, CIO at Burlington Coat Factory Warehouse Corp., in Burlington, N.J., said the 2.4 kernel has opened up new plateaus of use profiles for Linux.

"Its an even more solid platform today for the more highly stressed mission-critical server applications, and we are much more confident in the platform moving forward," Prince said.

Other announcements this week include a partnership between Compaq Computer Corp. and Sendmail Inc. to provide Linux-based e-mail solutions on Compaqs ProLiant servers. The new servers combine ProLiant servers with Sendmails Mailstream Manager and Integrated Mail Suite.

IBM will announce this week two dedicated Linux servers, including a Linux-only mainframe that requires no traditional mainframe operating system expertise. The eServer zSeries for Linux server is designed for customers wanting to consolidate hundreds of servers on a mainframe running Linux. It will be available in March for less than $400,000. The IBM eServer iSeries for Linux uses IBMs partitioning technology to help consolidate up to 15 stand-alone Linux and Windows servers onto a single server. This offering will cost less than $50,000.

Hewlett-Packard Co. this week will announce availability of two new carrier-grade servers, the CGS 2300 and 3300. They will initially support Red Hat 7.1 and later this year will support Debian Linux, SuSE Linux and Windows, officials said.

Sun Microsystems Inc. will announce a Linux version of its iPlanet Application Server, part of the push to provide cross-platform support across the Sun Open Net Environment foundation for building Web services.

Borland Software Corp. said it will unveil plans to deliver its C++ development system on Linux. Borland has tools for C and C++ developers to create applications and Web services on Linux.