Systems tool set for LinuxWorld debut
- By John K. Waters
Since its failed plan to merge with Linux distro TurboLinux earlier this
year, San Francisco-based Linux services provider Linuxcare Inc. has been
quietly regrouping and aiming its efforts toward last week's unveiling of a new
tool for the provisioning and configuration of large-scale Linux deployments on
Called Levanta, the new product is designed to administer virtual Linux
servers in IBM mainframe environments. According to the company, Levanta has
been developed according to the requirements of more than 50 enterprise
customers and is designed to facilitate the configuration, provisioning and
updating hundreds of Linux virtual machines. The company said the product is
currently being beta tested by telecommunications provider Verizon
Communications Inc. as well as financial services vendors.
Some industry analysts consider server consolidation to be a key challenge
now facing enterprise IT. Tighter budgets and a down economy are making the
potential total cost of ownership savings of consolidation increasingly
attractive to IT managers, according to analysts at Gartner, and low-cost of
Linux technologies fit well into that model. In a recent report, Gartner
research director John Phelps noted that an increasing number of large
enterprises are, in fact, looking at Linux on the S/390 and zSeries mainframe
systems to lower their overall expenditures on staffing and hardware, and to
improve the reliability of their hardware platform.
'As administrative tasks shift from distributed to mainframe IT staff,'
Phelps said in the report, 'centralized software tools could help to further
reduce management complexity and increase TCO savings.'
The company is expected to demo Levanta for the first time this week at the
LinuxWorld Conference in San Francisco. Linuxcare officials said the firm
continues to strengthen its ties to IBM, a strategy underscored by CEO Avery
Lyford's decision to exhibit at the conference as a member of IBM's PartnerWorld
for Developers. PartnerWorld for Developers provides Linuxcare with greater
access to IBM resources, the company said in a media release, enhancing
Linuxcare's ability to serve the growing number of customers implementing Linux
on eServer zSeries.
Scheduled for general availability in October, Levanta supports IBM's z/VM
virtualization software Version 4, releases 2 and 3, as well as SuSE Linux AG's
Linux Enterprise Server 7 with kernel version 2.4 and Red Hat Inc.'s Linux 7.2.
It is scheduled to cost from $150,000.
Detailed information on the product's features and system requirements are
available at http://www.linuxcare.com/products/levanta/.
John K. Waters is a freelance writer based in Silicon Valley. He can be reached