The US Department of Defense Information Systems Agency has certified Linux company Red Hat's Advanced Server operating system as a "Common Operating Environment," meaning the server product meets the agency's software security and interoperability specification.
The certification is for Red Hat's top-of-the-range Linux Advanced Server running on IBM's eServer xSeries 330 hardware. The Red Hat server is the first Linux product to receive this certification. The Common Operating Environment (COE) certification is designed to provide common IT architecture within the Department of Defense as a way to promote interoperability among the department's computer systems.
The certification allows the Defense Department to "achieve the required level of conformance so vital to joint warfare by embracing the self-governance standards created by the Linux community," said Matt Mleziva, program director of defence information infrastructure for the US Air Force.
The certification will allow Red Hat to compete in the $24bn Defense Department IT market, and assures Defense Department users that applications can easily be ported to the Red Hat operating system from other certified operating systems, said Mark de Visser, the company's vice-president of marketing.
"The government has been experimenting with Linux on a pretty broad scale," de Visser added. "What this does is put it in a mainstream deployment within the government."
Red Hat said the Defense Department certification is "broadly recognised" within the US government as a rigorous standard. The certification puts the server software on the Defense Department's approved list for mission-critical operating systems.
A handful of other operating systems are also certified under the COE: Sun Microsystems' Solaris, Microsoft Windows NT, IBM's AIX, and Hewlett-Packard's HP-UX.