IBM Chooses SourceForge for Internal Linux Group

IBM Tuesday said it has agreed to use VA Software’s SourceForge Enterprise Edition 3.3 software for to serve the more than 2000
open source developers in its internal open source group.

IBM’s internal open source community is an online collaboration resource for
developers working to improve the serviceability, security, availability and
standards for enterprise-targeted Linux.

As a whole, IBM is trying to write to Linux to improve support for graphical
engines, directory, file and print, file systems, and volume management to
lure enterprise customers.

VA’s Sourceforge is a suite that combines software development tools with
metrics tools that can track, measure and report on software project
activity in real-time. Released
in May, The Enterprise Edition 3.3 lets users install the SourceForge
environment behind their firewall for more secure usage.

The benefit of using SourceForge Enterprise Edition is that developers
nervous about intruders can develop their software applications or projects
without fearing that a malicious user is spying on them, or manipulating
their code.

Armonk, N.Y.’s IBM and Fremont, Calif.’s VA Software announced their
partnership on this venture in the thick of LinuxWorld Conference and Expo
2003, which is underway in San Francisco this week.

Just as IBM has collaborated with VA, a group of Linux vendors Monday
announced that they are teaming to form their own community alliance. Like
IBM and VA, the Technical Support Alliance Network (TSANet) is promising
higher quality support for enterprise Linux users.

TSANET features initial participation from vendors BEA Systems, Dell, EMC,
SuSE Linux, Hewlett-Packard, Unisys, Novell, Network Appliance, Veritas
Software and VMware. The group’s Linux Open Group Relationship aims to offer
collaboration on Linux standards and support issues for enterprise

That move underscores IBM’s position in the Linux heartland, where it
partners with many companies, but also stays moderately aloof from certain
groups or factions with regard to Linux. Since 1999 IBM has pumped billions
of dollars into its Linux wares, advertising and deals, but it has been
cautious about who it partners with on its broad Linux roadmap.

“It really validates the concept that we’ve been trying to prove,” said VA
Software President and CEO Ali Jenab in an interview with “More and more companies have grown through
acquisitions and they have geographically dispersed developers and they need
to find a way to have these developers work together. Sourceforge is a
perfect platform to bring them together.”

Jenab said SourceForge helps balance problems of disjointedness in another
trend — that of work being shipped offshore to developers who will accept
less pay than workers based in the United States.

“More and more of these same companies are shipping work offshore,” Jenab
said. Suppose they want to do software development offshore. How do you
monitor that?” Jenab said SourceForge makes this possible.

Jenab cited VA Software’s long-standing partnership with IBM as the impetus
for the new developer deal. Jenab said that Linux software group, which partnered with VA to integrate SourceForge Enterprise Edition with DB2, had a lot to
do with the new agreement.

“IBM basically has what they call the Linux Technology Center. What they’re
trying to do is both Linux and open source development,” Jenab explained.
“They wanted to have a mechanism to contribute to both Linux and open source
inside IBM.”

While Jenab wouldn’t discuss the total value of the deal, he said VA
Software sells SourceForge Enterprise Edition 3.3 at a list price of $3,270
per seat. That is accompanied by a 20 percent maintenance fee. A first year
maintenance fee is included in the price.

In related news this week, IBM has expanded its Linux practice in areas such
as its IBM Global Services (IGS) Linux practice. IBM said everal new
customers, including NetFlix, Marinalife, NYFIX and Softbank Uway have
chosen IBM’s Linux solutions over those from rivals such as Oracle.

News Around the Web