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IBM Rolls Out Linux Platform

In response to the momentum it sees in Linux applications, IBM announced today it would roll out an open platform to speed the deployment of Linux-based e-business solutions to small-and medium-sized businesses.

IBM announced the deployment of its eServer Integrated Platform at the developerWorks Live! conference in San Francisco. The platform will allow IBM's business partners and independent software vendors to easily package an integrated Linux-based hardware and software solution customized for small-and medium-sized companies.

The integrated platform, which IBM intends to enhance to include other eServer systems, initially includes the eServer xSeries (x300, x330 and x360), WebSphere application server, and DB2 database software for Linux. It will support a slew of Java applications for finance, real estate, e-commerce, and telecommunications.

IBM has committed many resources to Linux. The company cites an IDC report found small businesses are driving Linux adoption, representing just shy of half of all Linux server installations.

"In today's marketplace, [small-and medium-sized companies] are calling on business partners to build integrated solutions based on open standards to easily integrate with other systems," Richard Michos, IBM's vice president for Linux servers, said in a statement. "With this new offering, IBM business partners are able to deliver a complete top-to-bottom platform that connects Linux, Java, Intel and Web Services."

IBM is pairing the platform with its "Start Now" marketing program, which helps its business partners target small-and medium-sized companies.

Among the first group of ISVs to sign up to sell the eServer Integrate Platform are eOneGroup, Selectica, Marcole and Rational.

In another announcement at the conference, IBM said it signed up another 14 companies to develop portlets for its WebSphere Portal. Portlets are tiny applications that can connect users to anything from software applications to content.

The new partners will join 24 other portlet makers IBM announced in March. Among the companies joining are MobileWay, making a wireless data portlet; Drop IT, making a forms management portlet; and Yomi Applications, making a service integration tool.