RealTime IT News

IBM Boosts Linux On eServers

In what's sure to make IBM's Linux customers happy, Big Blue announced Thursday support for Red Hat Enterprise Linux v3 on its eServer line.

The latest iteration of Red Hat's enterprise software has spent the past couple months since its release Oct. 22 going through compatibility tests on the various server product lines -- iSeries, pSeries, xSeries, zSeries and BladeCenter -- before garnering IBM's certification blessing.

IBM currently been using Red Hat Enterprise v2.1 on xSeries and BladeCenter models. Enterprise Linux 3 comes in three varieties -- workstation, small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) and large enterprise.

The news is a boost for companies running Linux-powered IBM servers, which could ultimately translate to more processing power running on fewer servers. Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3 packs a wallop; it can run on up to 32 processors (up from eight in 2.1) on 64 GB of memory (up from 24 GB) and has 256GB in kernel address spaces (up from 1GB).

Currently available only in North America and Japan, IBM officials said they expected to offer the deal throughout the world in the near future.

The deal is the latest in a multi-year contract Red Hat signed with IBM last year to provide its software pre-loaded on Big Blue's hardware. At the time of the agreement, Red Hat officials expected to see a huge increase in revenues as its sales force was essentially doubled with the inclusion of IBM's sales teams.

Leigh Day, a Red Hat spokesperson, said the arrangement -- similar to deals it has with Dell , Hewlett-Packard and Fujitsu -- has led to increased exposure for the open source-based software company.

"We've seen significant customer demand for Red Hat Enterprise Linux on the IBM hardware platform," she said. "I think that is the impetus for IBM making (us) available on their servers."

In addition to hardware support, IBM will include software help for WebSphere, DB2, Lotus, Tivoli and Rational users.