Linux Upgrades On Tap


The launch of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 and Novell Open Enterprise Server (OES) at LinuxWorld Expo in Boston this week will advance corporate use of the Linux 2.6 kernel and offer higher levels of security and scalability through virtualization, partners said.

Chris Maresca, senior partner of Olliance Group, an open-source consultancy in Palo Alto, Calif., said the availability of the top two commercially branded Linux distributions with support for Linux 2.6 may help drive corporate adoption, but enterprise customers have access to many of these features in Red Hat's existing Enterprise 3 or in SUSE Enterprise Server 9. "For the customers that really needed 2.6 features, they have already moved to Linux 2.6 [distributions] or to [Linux] 2.4 [plus] 2.6 backports."

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 also features new support for Security-Enhanced Linux and 64-bit Extended processors from Intel and Advanced Micro Devices, and Logical Volume Manager 2.0.

Novell, for its part, will officially launch its long-awaited OES. The product incorporates both NetWare and Novell SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 9, the first commercial Linux distribution based on Linux 2.6 and Evaluated Assurance Level 4 security. OES also includes NetWare file services, iPrint, Virtual Office, ZenWorks, NetWare Storage Services, Novell Cluster Services, virtual team collaboration services and business continuity clustering, sources said.

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While Red Hat and Novell will play up key themes such as scalability and security, they also will support virtualization developed by the Xen open-source project that will be added to Linux 2.6 in coming months, said sources. ISVs and OEM partners including Oracle, Veritas, Hewlett-Packard and Unisys will support the new distributions.

HP also plans to announce the expansion of its PartnerOne Linux Elite reseller program to Asia-Pacific and Latin American countries.

The expanded Linux Elite program will enable Red Hat and Novell to penetrate more globally.

"They're getting access into markets where they need to develop more of a presence," said Jeff Wade, worldwide Linux market manager at HP. "Red Hat is predominant in the Americas, and Novell is predominantly strong in Europe. Asia-Pacific is the strongest growing region."