Red Hat Inc has made good on a promise made over a year ago to port its Enterprise Linux product line to IBM Corp’s entire eServer product line, including its PowerPC-based i- and pSeries servers and zSeries mainframe.
Raleigh, North Carolina-based Red Hat has had versions of its Linux distribution up and running on IBM’s server range before, but made a commitment in September 2002 to port Red Hat Enterprise Linux (or Advanced Server as it was then known) to IBM’s pSeries, iSeries and zSeries servers, as well as the Intel Corp processor-based xSeries.
In September 2003 Red Hat released Enterprise Linux 3, boasting that it would be the first operating system from the company to support five different processor platforms, including 32-bit and 64-bit Intel processors and 64-bit Advanced Micro Devices processors, as well as IBM mainframe and PowerPC chips.
The last two of those five processor platforms are now covered with the release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3 available across Armonk, New York-based IBM’s entire server line. IBM also announced that Red Hat Enterprise Linux is now packaged with sales of IBM’s xSeries and BladeCenter servers in Japan and North America.
The availability of Enterprise Linux across the range of IBM’s hardware is an important tool for Red Hat in battling chief Linux rival SuSE Linux AG. SuSE is in the process of being acquired by Novell Inc for $210m, with IBM giving Novell $50m to help ensure that SuSE’s support for IBM’s processors continues.
SuSE’s close relationship with IBM has been key to it gaining ground in enterprise accounts, especially on the mainframe, and while it may be small in comparison to the number of Intel servers shipped with Linux, the installed base of IBM i- p- and xSeries servers is a lucrative one that cannot be ignored.
This is very much a strategic thing, said Red Hat director of marketing EMEA, Paul Salazar when announcing the multi-processor support in September, and it’s a meaningful one because for every mainframe sale picked up by SuSE, they’d also pick up the desktop deals.
This article is based on material originally produced by ComputerWire.