News in Brief

IBM's cluster manager; Curl Client/Web Platform gets Linux support; Sun ONE Studio 8 Compiler ; and more

IBM Beefs Up Linux, AIX Clusters

IBM this week announced version 1.3 of Clustered Systems Management (CSM), a software package for managing mixed clusters of Unix and Linux servers.

CSM offers a single point-of-control for the installation, configuration and maintenance of pSeries (Power architecture) and xSeries (Intel architecture) servers.

New in CSM 1.3 is the ability to consolidate Unix and Linux applications onto a single cluster. As with other server consolidation scenarios, IBM says that this can simplify cluster administration and lower TCO.

CSM 1.3 also enables IBM’s pre-packaged cluster offerings to support larger clusters. Big Blue’s eServer Cluster 1600, for example, will be able to support up to 128 pSeries servers running AIX 5L. The eServer Cluster 1350, on the other hand, can now support up to 512 xSeries servers running Linux. IBM says that it will deliver CSM 1.3 on the Cluster 1600 on October 25th, with support for up to 128 servers on the Cluster 1600 to become available by December 13th. Similarly, Big Blue will support up to 256 systems on its Cluster 1350 by October 25th, with support for mixed AIX 5L Version 5.2 and Linux clusters to debut on December 13th.

New Web-based Application Development Platform for Linux

At IBM’s DeveloperWorks Live event in New Orleans, Curl Corp. this week announced Linux support for its Curl Client/Web Platform, an application development environment designed to deliver enterprise applications via the Web.

Curl’s Client/Web Platform is designed to be server-agnostic, such that it integrates with many back-end systems, including Big Blue’s iSeries minicomputers.

According to research from AMR Research, 78% of Linux users surveyed said they planned to use Linux to support mid-tier business applications, additional application or technology services, or other desktop productivity tools.

Curl Client/Web Platform’s client software suite includes an integrated development environment (IDE) component, along with a runtime environment, and provides Linux developers with a secure environment in which to build interactive user interfaces and applications that can be centrally managed and administered.

The Curl Client/Web Platform for Linux is available right now in limited distribution from Curl Corporation. General availability is pegged for Fall 2003. See for additional information.

Sun Announces New Sun ONE Compiler Collection

Sun Microsystems Inc. yesterday announced the Sun ONE Studio 8 Compiler Collection for the development of Solaris application on SPARC and Intel platforms.

The new Sun ONE Studio 8 Compiler provides as much as a 30 percent faster compile time, and also boasts faster build times and shorter times to deployment.

Sun’s new compiler collection also provides a set of command line-based components to create and maintain C, C++, and Fortran applications, which Sun claims can simplify compiling, building, and debugging.

The Sun ONE Studio 8 Compiler supports open standards such as the C99 standard—to match Solaris 10—along with OpenMP support, which allows customers to take advantage of SPARC SMP systems. The new compiler collections also support common GCC and Microsoft extensions.

The Sun ONE Studio 8 Compiler Collection is scheduled to become available on May 20, 2003.

IDC Downgrades IT Spending Forecast for 2003

Market research firm International Data Corp. (IDC) last week downgraded its growth forecast for IT spending in 2003, citing concerns about the war in Iraq and continued economic uncertainty.

IDC’s move comes after other firms—Goldman Sachs and Aberdeen Group, among others—have similarly adjusted their forecasts (see

"With worldwide GDP growth in steady decline and U.S. corporate profits facing the most severe downturn since the Great Depression, the gradual recovery that was slowly emerging from the accounting scandals and terrorism of the previous 18 months has stalled," the company said in a statement.

IDC's revised forecasts call for worldwide IT spending in 2003 of $852 billion—up 2.3 percent from 2002. Previously, IDC had called for growth at a 3.7 percent clip in 2003. Regionally, IDC said that it expects 1.5 percent growth in the United States, 2 percent growth in Europe and a 1.4 percent decline in Japan for 2003.

In the report, IDC analyst Stephen Minton stressed the potential for volatility over the next several months. "The outlook for the next six months continues to be extremely volatile and a double-dip IT recession can't be ruled out in a worst-case scenario. But the fundamental drivers remain solid. Once the fog of war has cleared, there will be a gradual recovery in corporate profits and business confidence, and this will translate into an increase in IT spending," he said.

Long-term, IDC believes that spending will eventually pick up. Minton predicted improved market conditions by 2004 in every region, and the emergence of a $1 trillion global IT market by 2006.

About the Author

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