IBM, Red Hat Reach Accord

Big Blue allies with Red Hat to market Linux across its eServer platforms.

IBM Corp. and Linux vendor Red Hat Inc. took the wraps off of a new, multi-year alliance yesterday. Under the agreement, the two companies will market enterprise Linux solutions.

Among other initiatives, Big Blue says that it will support Red Hat Linux Advanced Server across its xSeries, iSeries, pSeries and zSeries product lines.

Red Hat is expected to ship a version of its Red Hat Linux Advanced Server operating system on IBM’s xSeries Intel-based servers by the end of this year, with follow-on versions for additional eServer platforms to appear in 2003.

As part of the alliance, IBM Global Services (IGS) will provide customers with a number of unspecified Red Hat Linux Advanced Server and Red Hat Network managed software services.

Moreover, the two companies say that they will collaborate to package each other’s consulting and services offerings, providing a one-stop shop for their customers’ Linux service requirements.

"IBM Global Services has already implemented more enterprise Linux solutions than any other organization in the world," said Steve Solazzo, general manager of Linux, IBM, in a prepared release. "Now, with support for Red Hat Linux Advanced Server and increased … collaboration, IBM and Red Hat can help further accelerate the adoption of Linux-based solutions."

IBM has also pledged to make many of its key products—including WebSphere Application Server, DB2 database, Tivoli management framework and Lotus Domino messaging server—available for Red Hat Advanced Server. Big Blue expects to deliver product support for its Intel-based xSeries servers this year, with support for additional platforms to follow in 2003.

Big Blue has already indicated that it will also support another distribution of Linux—UnitedLinux—on its eServer paltforms. UnitedLinux is a server development effort by Linux vendors Caldera International Inc., Connectiva S.A., SuSE Linux A.G. and TurboLinux Inc. to compete against Red Hat for enterprise market share.

Although UnitedLinux is based on SuSE Enterprise Server, all four companies will sell applications and services based upon the core UnitedLinux operating system. Caldera, Connectiva, SuSE and Turbolinux plan to share royalties associated with sales of UnitedLinux.

IBM is now expected to support both UnitedLinux and Red Hat Linux Advanced Server across its eServer platforms.

About the Author

Stephen Swoyer is a Nashville, TN-based freelance journalist who writes about technology.