IBM, Veritas Offer New Linux Bundle

IBM, Sun Microsystems, Fujitsu and others were among the hardware vendors touting their wares at the biannual gathering for proponents of the open-source OS, while Arkeia, Silicon Graphics (SGI) and LSI Logic came out with storage products at the show.

IBM, Armonk, N.Y., teamed up with Veritas Software to develop a server/software bundle that is based on IBM's xSeries, Intel-based servers and includes Veritas' Cluster Server, Storage Foundation and Storage Foundation for Oracle RAC software. Scheduled to be available in the United States early this year, the bundles include hardware, software and services. They start at about $30,000.

Tempe, Ariz.-based Avnet Partner Solutions, which assembled the bundles, will distribute them through IBM's business partner channel. Veritas, IBM and Avnet will provide joint channel marketing, sales training and support for the solutions.

The bundles reflect customer demand for a complete solution, especially as Linux increasingly moves into enterprise settings, said Sanjay Poonen, vice president of strategic alliances at Veritas. Mountain View, Calif.-based Veritas previously has teamed with other hardware vendors on bundles, but this is the first time one so significant has been put together for Linux, Poonen said. "As Linux gets into more heterogeneous settings, we can help because we are the market leader in heterogeneous settings."

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Hunt Russell, sales manager at Evolving Solutions, a solution provider in Hamel, Minn., said that while IBM has a great solution with its OpenPower server combined with its HACMP clustering software and Tivoli storage software, Veritas also has a phenomenal solution for customers that don't need a full IBM solution.

"This should help kick-start the whole Linux market," Russell said. "Not only do customers get security, they get clustering and the file system. And everything will be pre-done by Avnet so that we, as a sales team, don't have to know what to put together. And [the bundle] absolutely cuts costs."

Another way for Linux solution providers to cut costs is to wait until after March 8 to order Sun's AMD Opteron processor-based servers. Sun executives said at the show that the company plans to cut prices for its SunFire V20z models 244 and 844 servers and its V40z models 250 and 850 servers by up to 20 percent. The company also plans to cut prices for its Opteron-based Sun Java Workstation models W1100z and W2100z by up to 22 percent.

Also on the server side, Fujitsu Computer Systems used the show to unveil its Primergy TX150 S3 tower server based a on single processor and configurable with SATA or SCSI, starting at just less than $1,200. Its two-way Primergy BX620 S2 blade servers feature Intel Xeon processors. Price starts at $2,400 per blade, which are certified for Red Hat and SUSE Linux.

Several storage vendors also launched new solutions and channel programs at LinuxWorld. Arkeia, an enterprise network backup software vendor targeting the Linux space, unveiled its first formal channel program, offering presales support, free internal licenses for testing, a lead-protection program and renewable annuities, said Rick DiViesti, director of sales at Arkeia, Carlsbad, Calif.

Arkeia and SGI also showcased a Linux bundle featuring an SGI Altix 350 server and Arkeia Network Backup software for data backups in technical computing environments for as many as 10 client servers. Under a limited-time promotion, customers can lease the server from SGI starting at $370.30 per month for 36 months, with the software license costing $1,919, or 80 percent less than the list price.

LSI Logic introduced its first SATA-II RAID controller card. The MegaRAID SATA 300 8x controller offers twice the speed of the Milpitas, Calif.-based company's SATA-I controller, or about 3-Gbyte-per-second throughput.

PAULA ROONEY contributed to this story.