HP To Provide Full Range Of Linux Support

Ken Deats, Associate Editor

HP wants to be thought of as a major force in the expanding Open Source universe. And its expanding acceptance of Linux as a major platform in that universe now includes the announcement of its Linux Support Center.

“Our theme is treating Linux as we do any other platform,” says Kristy Ward, HP’s Linux support marketing manager. She explains that HP Response Center engineers will, effective May 3, begin providing Linux software phone-in and information services aimed at resolving problems with Linux and selected application products. Initial features will include phone-in software assistance, electronic call submittal, remote software support and online knowledge and information retrieval.

HP’s Electronic Support Center (ESC) will also provide access to a database of Linux information that includes new product information, software status bulletins, engineering and applications notes and information about available software patches. And, answering some recent concerns expressed by ESC users concerning performance, Ward adds that its servers have been upgraded and search engine have been enhanced. As to the ESC's effectiveness, Ward says that over 180,000 users login per month and that over half solve their problems there without additional support.

Even though Linux is relatively new to HP support engineers, Ward says that they are taking intensive Linux classes and have access to a full Linux lab that affords them the opportunity to hone their skills. In addition, she says many of them had been Linux practitioners on their own time. “Lots of them had much more experience with Linux than we expected.”

Linux information will be made available free via the ESC search engine. Beyond online searches, unlimited phone-in and electronic call support will be offered at $100 per server, per month for 9-5, Monday to Friday and $130 per server, per month for 24x7 support. Both services are being offered worldwide and both guarantee two hour response time for all calls.