Linux slowly broadens base

Linux as a platform continues to expand, Daniel Frye, director of IBM's Linux Technology Center, told attendees at the recent USENIX conference in Boston. He said that the number of Linux-based enterprise-level applications grew 30 percent in the first half of 2001.

Several IBM ISV partners, including SAP, QAD, SAS Institute and Jbase software, started delivering new Linux-based applications this year, he said.

"A year ago, Linux was being utilized for Web, DNS, and print serving," said Frye. Now, he continued, the open source operating system is making headway serving up applications. Frye also sees increased Linux use for software development, super computing clusters and server consolidation tasks.

Is Linux a mature OS? "No," said Frye. But, he said, IBM believes it may be mature and enterprise-ready within 12 to 36 months. Large-scale deployment of enterprise databases will be the next hurdle for enterprise Linux, he indicated.

Meanwhile, the wholesale embrace of Linux by big systems houses such as IBM has taken a toll on VALinux, the startup pledged to bundling Linux software and Intel-class hardware. On the eve of USENIX, the VALinux announced it was shifting to a software-only strategy.

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About the Author

Jack Vaughan is former Editor-at-Large at Application Development Trends magazine.