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Turbolinux Expands Partnership with Big Blue

IBM continued its journey into the open source world Wednesday by inking a major distribution deal with Turbolinux.

Financials of the deal were not made public.

Under the agreement, Turbolinux and IBM will jointly market and roll out bundled IBM solutions on Turbolinux, including IBM's DB2 Universal Database, IBM WebSphere family of e-commerce application servers, Lotus Domino collaboration software, Tivoli Framework and IBM's small business suite for Linux.

The agreement builds on a relationship between IBM and Turbolinux that began in 1999 when the two companies first offered DB2 Universal Database with a Linux distribution.

IBM has since taken an equity stake in Turbolinux and the two companies have partnered on global support and services, a global OEM agreement, and agreements to offer Turbolinux across IBM's eServer line of business server platforms.

While IBM has done its share of business with Turbolinux, it does not depend on the open-source software company exclusively. In a deal that paralleled Wednesday's pact with Turbolinux, IBM linked arms with industry leader Red Hat Inc. in August to distribute bundled IBM, Lotus, Tivoli and Red Hat software offerings.

Dan Kusnetzky, vice president of systems software research for IDC, said the play should accelerate the adoption of Linux in the enterprise, particularly in Asia where Turbolinux has a strong presence.

For Turbolinux, the agreement is a major win for as it goes head-to-head with a host of Linux providers, including Red Hat and Caldera. Turbolinux also filed for a public offering in October.

Once a struggling software firm last year, Turbolinux reeled in $30 million of third-round funding from the likes of Fujitsu Limited, Hitachi, Ltd., IBM, SGI and Softbank Ecommerce Corp. several months after it axed 70 employees and its skipper stepped down.