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PeopleSoft moves to Linux in response to customer demand

Enterprise software supplier PeopleSoft will port all of its 170 enterprise applications to Linux by the end of the year. 

David Sayed, PeopleSoft's technology product marketing manager said that customers wanted to run enterprise applications rather than just bringing in Linux to run file servers, web servers and other infrastructure support roles.

"It's a coming together of customer demand and [Linux] maturity as a whole," he said. 

PeopleSoft will support all of its applications on Linux using Red Hat Advanced Server, including customer relationship management, enterprise performance management, enterprise service automation, financial management, human capital management and supplier relationship management. 

Joining PeopleSoft in its announcement was IBM, which has been a strong Linux advocate in the marketplace for at least two years, selling Linux on a wide range of IBM hardware for business users. 

PeopleSoft has partnered with IBM to offer the PeopleSoft Linux applications on IBM's eServer xSeries Intel-based servers, using IBM DB2 Universal Database and WebSphere Application Server applications. 

Sayed said the company prepared for its move by looking at Linux internally so it would be ready.

"It's an investment to support a platform well," Sayed said. "This is presenting tremendous value at the right time." 

PeopleSoft also supports Microsoft Windows server operating systems, IBM's AIX, Hewlett-Packard's HP-UX, Sun Microsystems' Solaris and IBM's z/OS mainframe operating systems. 

The company made the transition easier by porting its PeopleSoft Pure Internet Architecture system to Linux first. Then it will fine-tune its applications to the platform.

Scott Handy, director of Linux software solutions at IBM, said PeopleSoft's move to bring all of its applications to Linux "is the biggest commitment from any ISV [independent software vendor]" so far in the expanding Linux marketplace.

"We were talking about doing Linux with them for a while, but they were waiting for customers" to provide the demand. 

"This is exactly the kind of thing that will help a platform become a mainstream choice," said Dan Kusnetzky, an analyst at IDC.

"I suspect that the more [customers] who get behind it, the more interest there will be in the market," Kusnetzky said.

Nicholas Petreley, an analyst at Evans Data said the timing is good because "Linux is just really enjoying this bad economy." 

"They're coming out of the woodwork to support Linux because [vendors] want to support anything that will run their products," Petreley said.

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