Linux's Enterprise Stand

Red Hat, IBM, ON technology show off new offerings at forum

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Red Hat, IBM and ON Technology were on hand at the Enterprise Linux Forum here last week to debut new Linux enterprise offerings.

Red Hat, Raleigh, N.C., unveiled plans to release a technical workstation in the first quarter of 2003 and an enhanced version of Advanced Server in mid-to late 2003.

The workstation release, a client designed for the company's Advanced Server, will enable development and deployment of scientific, electronic-design and digital content-creation applications.

>> In a few short years, Linux has nearly caught up to Windows from a technical standpoint.


Red Hat executives also said at the show that the first Advanced Server upgrade, due in the second half of 2003, will incorporate new carrier-grade features for the telecom industry and enterprise customers. Features of Linux Advanced Server 3.0 include improved application portability and performance, a logical volume manager, POSIX-compliant threading, diskless blade system support, failover beyond two nodes, improved responsiveness and high-availability clustering.

After delivering a keynote address at the show, Red Hat Chairman and CEO Matthew Szulik said that over time, Advanced Server will become more modular and offer advanced multithreading, a clustered file system and improved manageability via Red Hat's recent acquisition of NOCpulse. The NOCpulse technology offers managed services, provisioning and monitoring and will be integrated with Red Hat Network Services.

The Linux OS leader wasn't the only vendor touting new products at the show. IBM announced the shipment of its pSeries 64-bit Unix servers running Linux natively. And ON Technology, Waltham, Mass., said it plans next month to add Linux support to its remote systems management product with the launch of ON Command CCM for Linux.

In a few short years, Linux has nearly caught up to Windows from a technical standpoint. Szulik said the availability of more enterprise applications and enhanced SMP support has enabled Linux to make gains in 2002, but it needs increased scalability beyond eight-way systems. The Linux 2.6 kernel due next year, however, is expected to offer scalability comparable to that of high-end versions of Windows 2000.

Management of Linux servers also was a hot topic as the industry debated the merits of an IDC study commissioned by Microsoft that claimed that Windows 2000 offers a better total cost of ownership than Linux over a projected five-year span. While many Linux advocates believe the study was biased, the results demonstrate that Linux actually surpasses Windows in many technical categories, including Web serving and downtime.

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