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Ericsson joins open-source lab

Ericsson has teamed up with a list of software and hardware vendors including Hewlett-Packard and Red Hat to develop a version of...

Ericsson has teamed up with a list of software and hardware vendors including Hewlett-Packard and Red Hat to develop a version of Linux tuned for high-octane servers used by network carriers.

The telecom equipment manufacturer will help design a set of specifications for the open-source operating system that would enable it to power servers used by telecoms companies.

The goal is to boost the power and reliability of Linux so it can be used as an alternative to Unix systems.

Ericsson has joined a working group that is developing the standard specifications and will ensure that companies meet those requirements for future hardware and software products. It is led by Open Source Development Lab (OSDL), a nonprofit research lab backed by vendors including Intel and IBM.

The group is developing a wish list of requirements that the server operating systems must include, said Douglas Kolb, OSDL director of marketing. Those include ensuring that the Linux version can handle the required load-balancing and high-availability requirements.

OSDL plans to release a white paper detailing the attributes of the software specifications next month. That will be followed by a draft version of the carrier-grade Linux operating system specifications in August, followed by products based on the specifications as early as the first quarter of 2003, Kolb said.

Software maker MontaVista Software released a "carrier-grade" version of Linux in April.

However, MontaVista's release is more "in the spirit of the working group"," rather than a release that meets the stringent requirements currently being drafted, Kolb said. "It displays a lot of the characteristics that carrier-grade Linux will have, but I can't say that it conforms to the specifications since they haven't been completed," he said.

Red Hat's Advanced Server also shares a number of attributes that will be built in to the version of the operating system outlined by OSDL, the company has said.

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