IBM, Red Hat Partner on Linux Services

Raleigh, N.C.-based Red Hat , which develops
commercial
versions of the Linux operating system, on Monday announced a lucrative
joint marketing pact with IBM Corp. to provide
Linux-based
support and services to the enterprise sector.

The multi-year deal calls for Big Blue and Red Hat to team on customer
service support and services for software and servers running Linux,
the
open-source OS that’s gaining popularity among enterprise businesses
worldwide.

IBM, which already has a three-pronged Linux-based storage strategy in place, said its
Global
Services would package Red Hat Linux Advanced Server and Red Hat
Network
managed software services and complement it with joint service and
support
offerings.

The deal also calls for Red Hat to deliver Red Hat Linux Advanced
Server for
IBM’s eServer zSeries, iSeries, and pSeries. Red Hat Linux Advanced
Server
is already supported on the IBM eServer
xSeries servers. Also, IBM Global Services would provide support for
Red Hat
Linux Advanced Server on IBM’s entire eServer product line.

For Red Hat, the deal is its largest joint marketing pact ever and it
more
than doubles the sales force that will be hawking its server and
database
management software. Red Hat Linux accounts for almost half of Red
Hat’s
revenues.

Red Hat and IBM Global Services plan to team up to offer end-to-end
service
and support to customers with Linux technical knowledge and engineering
resources. The two companies also plan to package each other’s
consulting
and service offerings, a partnership aimed at setting up one-stop
support
for all Linux customer requirements.

On the software side, IBM puts its key software products on Red Hat
Linux
Advanced Server, starting with Intel processor-based servers such as
eServer
xSeries this year, and expanding to additional eServer
hardware in 2003. Big Blue’s software for Linux include WebSphere, DB2,
Tivoli and Lotus.

Big Blue, which has aggressively
embarked on a quest to lure enterprises for its Linux-based
servers,
said the Red Hat deal is a “clear endorsement of Linux’s growing role
in
corporate America.”

“While IBM has already implemented more Linux solutions than any other
organization, the ongoing support for the OS has thus far been limited
to
maintenance type agreements between Global Services and the Linux
distributor. (This) moves the services agreement between IBM and Red
Hat
into a new realm,” said Steve
Solazzo, general manager of Linux, IBM.

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