Novell Aims Linux At Big Blue

In a bid to entice Linux users to run their enterprises on IBM hardware, Big Blue has linked up with Novell in an initiative to encourage independent software vendors to bring their applications to the two companies' platforms.

Specifically, the two companies are going to begin certifying applications running under Novell's SuSE Linux on IBM's eServer and middleware platforms.

IBM says that ISVs will be able to make use of technical consulting support at nine "Innovation Centers" it has set up in North America, Europe and Asia. The centers will help ISVs port their applications to Linux and will be able to grant certification. The U.S. centers will be located in San Mateo, Calif., Waltham, Mass., and Chicago.

To kick-start the effort, Novell plans to provide ISVs with copies of its SuSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) operation system. Novell says it will also make it easier for ISVs to register for the company's technology partner program.

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"To date, more than 6,000 Linux-based applications have been developed on IBM, 2,000 of which come from ISVs," said Buell Duncan, IBM's general manager of ISV and developer relations, in a statement. "IBM has a goal to double that number in the next two years."