RealTime IT News

HP Touts Linux 'For The Real World'

Looking to keep its edge in the Linux market, Hewlett-Packard Thursday announced additions to its Linux portfolio, including new desktop PCs and notebooks running Linux.

In advance of next week's LinuxWorld in New York, the computer and printer maker took the wraps off of several new Linux reference architectures, including commercial Linux reference architectures based on Oracle Database/9iRAC and BEA WebLogic Server and an open source reference infrastructure architecture based on open-source software from MySQL, JBoss, Apache and OpenLDAP. The updates are targeted for enterprise customers migrating from Sun's Solaris, IBM's AIX or even HP's own Tru64 platform.

The Palo Alto, Calif.-based firm has gone from an early adopter of the open source operating language to one of its biggest vendors with $2.5 billion reported in revenue for 2003.

According to Framingham, Mass.-based IDC, HP also has the No. 1 position in the Linux server market in the third quarter of 2003 with 28.1 percent of Linux server factory revenue worldwide.

IBM , which does not make its ongoing Linux-related revenue figures available, has a huge stake in its success. In addition to a $1 billion investment in 2001, the company is also fronting $50 million to support Novell's acquisition of German Linux provider SUSE. According to Nielsen Monitor-Plus, Big Blue put some $3 million on media behind its Linux offerings in September to October 2003.

"Linux server revenues and unit shipments have been accelerating in recent quarters, with 49.8 percent revenue growth for Linux servers in Q303, compared to Q302," said Jean Bozman, research vice president, IDC's worldwide server group. "The key drivers for this acceleration, we believe, are widespread acceptance of Linux servers for many Web-centric applications, a growing use for file, print and other IT infrastructure workloads, and increasing use of Linux servers for high-performance computing workloads, for custom applications and for packaged ISV applications."

Spotting this as a trend, HP also announced updates regarding Linux notebooks and desktops such as its Compaq t5300 and t5500 thin clients (priced at $299 and $349 respectively). The units are designed for use with the Linux Terminal Server Project (LTSP). The standards-based thin clients run on Transmeta processors and high-resolution ATI Rage XC video chips.

In addition, HP has certified several models from its business notebook line (Compaq nc6000, nc8000 and nw8000) on the SUSE Linux Desktop. HP has also certified its HP Compaq business desktop D530 and D330 PCs with SUSE Enterprise Linux.

For its Integrity servers, HP said it is extending its high-availability capabilities to 64-bit Linux environments with its Serviceguard for Linux for Integrity servers. The company's StorageWorks Cluster Extension compliments the clustering software.

HP said it plans to launch its HP Serviceguard Extension for SAP solutions in early February. This software is designed to simplify any mixture of large SAP server environments.