Red Hat Strikes Enterprise Linux Deal with HP

Hewlett-Packard and Red Hat have inked an agreement designed to expand Linux adoption in the enterprise.

The partners say the deal will give enterprise customers a single place for integrated Linux hardware and software support. The deal makes HP a preferred vendor for fulfillment and service of the Red Hat Enterprise Linux products on its hardware. Those products include Red Hat Enterprise Linux AS, Enterprise Linux ES and Enterprise Linux WS. The companies will also partner their global services organizations.

Red Hat has made it clear that it’s making a strong push into the evolving market for Linux-based enterprise software and services.

The HP announcement comes on the heels of Red Hat’s recent enterprise Linux ES product rollout, designed for network and departmental server applications such as network, file, print, mail and Web serving.

Red Hat already is generating $2 billion annually in Linux-based revenue and it is the leading provider of Linux server shipments. The HP deal covers both 32-bit Intel architecture and Itanium platforms, and is a vote of confidence for the demand of Linux-based hardware solutions.

Red Hat already has “preferred” vendor relationships with IBM and Dell Computer , and HP’s move is further evidence there is enterprise demand for integrated hardware, software and services based on Linux.

According to recent research from Gartner, shipments of Linux systems will likely double from 2002 to 2003, rising to about 800,000 units, with Linux server revenue expected to grow to close to $4 billion in 2003.

One obstacle to widespread use of Linux-based solutions in the enterprise has been customer concerns about support. Red Hat and HP say this alliance will provide unprecedented global sales and services support.

It’s another win for Red Hat, who is trying to line up the top hardware vendors behind its Linux-based operating system and other software and services.

But Red Hat is not alone in the market, as UnitedLinux has struck similar deals with HP, IBM and Advanced Micro Devices in recent months.

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