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HP and SuSE Linux Expand Global Alliance

Hewlett-Packard and international open source group SuSE Linux are expanding their alliance that calls for HP to resell and support SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 8, powered by open source consortium UnitedLinux, on HP's ProLiant servers with Itanium-based servers.

The companies said the relationship would help provide customers a single point of purchase, support and maintenance for SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 8, while at the same time making SuSE Linux a preferred vendor for HP.

The alliance means HP plans to resell, market and support the new SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 8 on its HP ProLiant servers. The computer systems vendor also plans to ship its ProLiant servers preloaded with Enterprise Server 8, and plans to provide support for customers, along with support organizations backed by SuSE engineering and product maintenance teams. In addition, HP and SuSE said they would collaborate on extending the services to Itanium 2-based HP server customers.

The HP/SuSE Linux agreement advances a five-year alliance between the two companies, and is seen as a key growth enabler for Linux server sales in Europe and other international markets.

The news comes on the heels of a ISV (independent software vendor) partner program launched this week by UnitedLinux, the open source consortium that includes SuSe Linux. The ISV program is aimed at helping software vendors test and certify their applications on the UnitedLinux platform, in yet another example of the spread of Linux support among major and smaller software vendors to the enterprise.

Other UnitedLinux member companies are Conectiva, Turbolinux, and SCO Group .

"This partnership between SuSE Linux and HP will advance the cause of Linux servers running enterprise-class workloads," said Jean S. Bozman, research vice president, worldwide server group, IDC, as part of the announcement.

"SuSE is the provider of one of the world's top Linux distributions, and HP is the server vendor that shipped the largest number of Linux server units worldwide in 2002."

In related news, SuSE Linux has also been tapped by supercomputing specialist company Cray to drive key aspects of the Department of Energy's new massively parallel processing (MPP) supercomputer.

The computer, called Red Storm, is deployed at Sandia National Laboratories in New Mexico. The companies said it is expected to become operational in the late 2004 timeframe and will use Advanced Micro Devices' latest Opteron processors, which feature HyperTransport technology, in conjunction with Red Storm's high-bandwidth, low-latency internal switching architecture.

Cray said the Sandia National Laboratories Red Storm supercomputer is slated to be used for computer simulations of the U.S. nuclear stockpile and other applications.