The latest server versions of Linux from SuSE and SCO Group, both being supported by IBM and Hewlett-Packard, are poised to go head to head against market leader Red Hat. SCO, however, will aim its offering at small and medium-sized companies, while SuSE will focus mainly on corporate accounts.
SuSE's Linux Enterprise Server 8.0, which has been certified to operate with IBM's DB2, has a uniform code base for most major hardware platforms and is now available on Hewlett-Packard's ProLiant line of servers as well as its Itanium 2-based servers for both 32- and 64-bit Intel platforms.
Version 8.0 is also available on AMD-based 32- and 64-bit chips, and IBM's complete line of eServer series, which SuSE officials believe will make it easier for corporate users to consolidate multi-vendor server environments.
Company officials said the latest version was well suited to a range of mission-critical applications as well as for file and print and security services.
SuSE officials said they have improved the product's administration and configuration capabilities through a tool called AutoYaST, which enables automated installation of a predetermined, user-defined configuration of the operating system within a network environment. The capability helps to reduce administration costs and ensure a higher quality rollout.
Enterprise Server 8.0 will be available next month and will run on systems ranging from Intel-based servers up to mainframe-class machines. The Intel-based version will cost $749 (£475).
The SCO Group, formerly known as Caldera Systems, released SCO Linux 4.0 and will offer guaranteed maintenance for the product for two years; SCO will provide a group of escalation engineers to work on fixes for the product.
The company's support services include 24/7 emergency response lines. It will also support any other Unix products based on the UnitedLinux code base.
The company will make four different versions of the product. The first is the Base Edition, which costs $599 and includes the Update maintenance service; the Classic Edition, priced at $699, includes unlimited installation and configuration; the Business Edition lists for $1,249 and includes unlimited technical support; and the Enterprise Edition, priced at $2,199, includes unlimited technical support, the Update service, and guaranteed one-hour response during business hours.
Ximian also threw its weight behind UnitedLinux 1.0 this week, announcing that its Red Carpet software management software would support SuSE's Enterprise 8.0 server, powered by UnitedLinux 1.0, sometime next year.
Red Carpet's product is designed to keep Linux up to date with the latest features as well as resolve conflicts in mixed environments so users can install and maintain software over a network more easily.