Sybase, IBM Embrace Over Linux

Sybase announced it has tailored its
Linux-based database to run on rival IBM’s eServer OpenPower systems,
providing customers more choice in the increasingly popular market for Linux

The deal is a snub to Sun Microsystems , which has enjoyed a long
partnership cultivating software architectures with Sybase, partly to
compete with Big Blue in the market for Java-based middleware.

Specifically, Sybase has reworked its Adaptive Server Enterprise (ASE) for
Linux to run on IBM’s OpenPower systems, which are based on
the company’s Power5 chips and work best with the Linux operating system.

Although Sybase and IBM compete in the database software market, both
believe the agreement will be mutually
beneficial because the vendors will be providing customers more choice at a
lower cost.

The companies said they would jointly sell, market and provide services for ASE Linux
on OpenPower systems worldwide but will target the lucrative financial
services segment. Sybase ASE for Linux on IBM
OpenPower systems will be available in the first quarter of 2005.

The timing of the deal doesn’t hurt. Sales of servers running Linux
continue to rise dramatically. Gartner said Linux
sales ballooned
42.6 percent, with unit shipments up 31.7 year-over-year in
the third quarter.

Sybase began licensing
Sun’s Java 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition (J2EE) in 2000. The
two later put
a 25-terabyte data warehousing architecture.

This past summer, Sun and Sybase staked their claim in the burgeoning RFID
market together, agreeing to make middleware that will move
data from an RFID tag reader into an enterprise resource planning system.

Sybase hasn’t moved away from its ASE database, but it has weakened in
recent years, with market share ebbing with the strong tides from the big three
in the space: Oracle, IBM and Microsoft.

But the Dublin, Calif., vendor has had other designs of late to tap new
reaches in the market with its vision of the Unwired Enterprise. This
strategy includes making products that help organizations manage data on
the go. Sybase announced the initiative, along with Intel, last November.

To bolster the play, Sybase acquired
XcelleNet, which makes software to help workers manage information from
wireless devices and remote locations, for $95.2 million in cash.

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