Use of Linux Grows in Public Sector

Red Hat and other open-source companies are making strides as the public sector seeks their solutions to "increase security, save money and address the needs of management."

Public-sector deployments of Linux are continuing to grow at the expense of Unix and Windows.

The latest Linux win is the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts (AOUSC), in Washington, which provides administrative support, program management and policy development services to U.S. federal courts.

The administrative office is migrating applications from Solaris to Linux using Hewlett-Packard Co.s ProLiant servers that are running Red Hat Inc.s Enterprise Linux Advanced Server and HPs StorageWorks tape libraries.

In a deal to be announced this week, BakBone Software Inc., of San Diego—which offers Linux support and certification of its NetVault data management software on Red Hat Linux and ProLiant servers—was awarded a contract through outsourcer The Titan Corp. to provide software and support to the AOUSC.

The contract is part of the seven-year, $17 million server integration contract Titan signed with the AOUSC in December. The AOUSC will also deploy IBMs Informix database software and BakBones VaultDR (disaster recovery) application to multiple remote sites, with 700 to 1,000 such server deployments expected over the next three years.

Embracing Linux

Other recent new deployments

  • U.S. Department of Agriculture Linux/Windows environment including a library running Sybase
  • The College Board Linux/Windows/ Mac environment with NetApp and Oracle
  • National Institutes of Health SAN environment with NetApp, MySQL and Oracle backing up to tape
  • The Marine Corps Community Services division Linux/Solaris/ Windows with NetApp and Oracle

Government customers such as the U.S. Air Forces Electronics Systems Command have welcomed the adoption of industry-driven standards, which allow the Department of Defense to stay up-to-date with commercial technology innovations using the self-governance model of the Linux community, said Matt Mleziva, program director of the defense information infrastructure for the Air Force, in Washington.

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Red Hat is also seeing interest in other areas of the public sector, said officials from the Raleigh, N.C., company.

Red Hat reported 87,000 units of Enterprise Linux sold last quarter, which was about double the number sold in the previous quarter. The company also recently made its Security Enhanced Linux available as part of Fedora Core 2, Test 2, which officials said is the most significant milestone in its security road map for Enterprise Linux.

Some customers, such as John Lewis, security systems engineer for the city of Charlottesville, Va., are deploying Red Hat solutions because of the perception that they are more secure than proprietary solutions.

"Prior to my arrival, the department and the city of Charlottesville was 100 percent Microsoft," Lewis said. "Since then, we began a campaign to increase security, save money and address the needs of management. We chose to standardize on Red Hat."

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