Sybase Beefs Up Linux Efforts

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Sybase is reinvigorating its Linux push with the opening Monday of a Linux Competency Center in New York City.

While the company first brought its RDBMS, now known as Adaptive Server Enterprise, to Linux in 1999, real enterprise interest in the open-source operating system has gotten serious in the past year, company executives said.

"Just in the last six to eight months, we've begun to see much more formalization of efforts on Linux platforms . . . in terms of committed projects and movement, at senior levels," said Raj Nathan, senior vice president and general manager of the Infrastructure Platform Group at Sybase, Dublin, Calif.

"The purpose [of the center] is to . . . provide partners an opportunity to showcase applications and [help them] port their applications to Linux and ASE or other Sybase products, and also provides opportunity for testing and configuration that they may not have the resources for," Nathan told CRN.

In addition, "end users, can come see real-live apps and solutions running on multiple Linux platforms and Intel platforms . . . SuSE, Red Hat, Red Flag and potentially TurboLinux, Hewlett-Packard and Dell platforms and the like . . . and also allows them, if they want, to do proof of concept outside their current environment," Nathan said.

Sybase may have only seen interest of late, but database rivals IBM and Oracle have made big noises around Linux for more than a year, in efforts that may reassure corporate integrators and end users that the operating system is, in fact, ready for prime time.

The competency center will be located in Sybase's midtown sales office and will start with five dedicated employees, Nathan said.

Sybase remains strong in financial institutions but lags behind Oracle, IBM and Microsoft in overall database market share.

Kevin Clancy, vice president of sales at iMarkets, a New York-based Sybase application development partner, is bullish on the the center.

While iMarkets, which develops software for convertible bond management, doesn't yet have customers on Linux, Clancy said he "expects more business from Sybase, simply because of the presence Sybase has in the financial community."

In related news, Sybase and Red Hat certified Adaptive Server Enterprise 12.5, Replication Server 12.5, Open Client 12.5 and Open Server 12.5 on Red Hat Enterprise Linux, the companies said.

Sybase has is also beefing up its support for Macintosh and other platforms.

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