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Turbolinux, Big Blue Partnership Going Strong

In the continuation of a partnership between Big Blue and a leading Linux provider, Turbolinux weighed in at LinuxWorld in New York Tuesday with a new Server 6 for IBM's eServer z900 and S/390 mainframes.

Turbolinux has also agreed to provide 24/7 call center support and onsite professional services for IBM eServer z900 and S/390 customers through partnerships with services and solutions organizations Linuxcare, Sytek Services and UTS Global.

Both firms feel that putting Turbolinux's open source software on IBM mainframes offers customers cost-effective options because of faster access to enterprise data through a portfolio of Linux applications that work with IBM middleware.

Some analysts agree.

Bill Claybrook, research director of Linux at Aberdeen Group, said the firms are hedging their bets on the notion that their partnerships can result in new, revenue-generating e-business applications.

"Turbolinux on a mainframe can add up to a very compelling value proposition -- the ability to deliver tightly integrated, high-performance, high-availability, and scalable e-business solutions," Claybrook said.

Turbolinux Server 6 for IBM eServer z900 and S/390 has already been tested in customer production environments, including some of the world's top banks, manufacturers and telecommunications companies.

CSK Network Systems -- one of Japan's top ASP, ISP and systems integration companies -- hosts a new mail, calendar and Web server offering for its corporate customers on Turbolinux and an IBM mainframe in Tokyo. The company is able to host on one S/390 server a mix of mainframe, Unix and Linux applications, all of which work together.

With Linuxcare, Sytek Services and UTS Global, Turbolinux offers customers around the world an extended menu of support and service offerings for Linux on IBM mainframes.

Tuesday's announcement at LinuxWorld is the latest in a series of software/hardware deals between Turbolinux and IBM. On Jan. 10, Turbolinux and IBM agreed to market, distribute and support bundled IBM solutions on Turbolinux that include IBM's DB2, WebSphere family of e-business application servers, Lotus Domino, Tivoli Framework and a small business suite for Linux.

Dan Kusnetzky, vice president of systems software research for International Data Corporation, said that deal would accelerate the adoption of Linux in the enterprise, particularly in Asia where Turbolinux has a strong presence.

While IBM isn't the only hardware outfit to cozy up to Linux -- Dell and Hewlett-Packard have offered their own hugs -- the industry is watching and waiting to see what Sun Microsystems Inc. does with the open-source software.

Insiders say the fact that most of Linux is installed on Intel is just one of a handful of reasons why Sun, though bullish on open-source models, has been loathe to jump in the game. Analysts say the notion that Sun is reluctant to trade in its money-making Solaris platform for Linux is another reason.