IBM is extending its support for the products of one of its software competitors, Sybase, to present a Linux server-software package.
Sybase's Adaptive Server Enterprise database competes with IBM's DB2 software.
Sybase ASE will be jointly marketed with IBM's eServer OpenPower Linux servers. In September, Sybase released a free, limited ASE Express version of its database for use on Linux servers.
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IBM already supports Sybase ASE on servers running its AIX operating system, but this alliance marks the first time Sybase support will be available on IBM's Linux-based servers.
The agreement could help IBM to find new customers in the financial services field, where Sybase has a strong presence. It also gives Sybase access to IBM's marketing activities and sales channel.
IBM and Sybase, along with rival Oracle, have been aggressive in targeting the expanding Linux market.
IDC estimates that Linux database software license revenue grew 131% from 2002 to 2003, to $522m (£271m) - mostly at the expense of Unix licences, which declined over the same period.
IDC forecasts that Linux database licence revenue will reach nearly $2bn in 2006.
Stacy Cowley writes for IDG News Service