New product launches at Linuxworld

As the Linux community gathers in San Francisco to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Linux, a host of vendors will roll out a...

As the Linux community gathers in San Francisco to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Linux, a host of vendors will roll out a range of products intended to boost the fortunes of the open source operating system in the corporate arena.

IBM will unwrap what company officials believe is the first Linux-based e-commerce suite for mainframes. Version 5.1 of the Websphere Commerce Suite is intended to increase corporate customers' global reach by making it easier to conduct e-business around the world.

"Given that users are increasingly moving workloads to the zSeries [mainframe] platform, we see this as a significant offering. It will also help establish it as a platform ready to host mission-critical applications," said Dan Powers, IBM's director of Internet Technologies.

Big Blue will also debut two new Intel-based xSeries servers aimed at the telecommunications industry. The models 300 DC and 330 DC are single-processor servers equipped with self-managing, self-healing hardware and software products born from the company's Project eLiza initiative.

IBM will also announce a partnership with Colorado State University. Under the deal, IBM will equip the university with a Linux-based zSeries mainframe that will be used as a National Technology Hub for both faculty and students.

"They will use it to set up virtual Linux machines for all their students, but also for 20 other universities connected with this project," Powers said.

IBM will also launch a contest, called the Linux Scholar Challenge, which will encourage students to make contributions to the open source community. Entires will be judged by a panel, and the 25 winners will receive an IBM ThinkPad. There will also be a team prize for the best work, with the winning university getting to choose a new zSeries system or a Linux cluster.

Turbolinux will support IBM's mainframe-flavoured offering with the introduction of Version 6.5 z/Linux 6.5 for IBM's zSeries eServers. Turbolinux will also show off EnFuzion 7.0, clustering software that ties together Linux, Unix, and Windows servers and workstations across a corporate network, and allows them to function as a single supercomputer.

Borrowing from the concept behind grid computing, EnFuzion links systems together and emulates a supercomputer by drawing on the idle processing power of linked desktop and server systems.

Trying to build momentum for its recently released e-commerce suite of applications for SMEs, Red Hat will announce partnering agreements with Compaq and Pioneer-Standard to piece together a range of solutions based on the suite.

Pioneer-Standard installs and configures Red Hat's product on Intel-based systems and offers consulting services for Web application development, site design, and legacy system integration.

Intel will emphasise its commitment to Linux by announcing a series of programming tools to help developers create applications that make the most of its chips.

The company's new compilers translate Linux programs written in C++ or Fortran into commands that an Intel Pentium 4 can understand. Like Intel's compilers for Windows, the Linux compilers include support for the OpenMP standard for multiprocessor systems, according to an Intel spokesman.

Ximian will roll out Ximian Desktop as part of its campaign to establish Linux as the corporate desktop operating system of choice. The new product contains the Gnome graphical interface, several versions of Linux for top-tier vendors, and a range of third-party applications.

The Standard Edition of Ximian Desktop includes Red Carpet, a systems management application, and a preview version of Ximian Evolution, a suite of groupware applications for managing personal information. The Desktop Professional Edition contains Sun's StarOffice suite along with 90 days of Web-based technical support for users.

SuSE Linux will show off its Linux Firewall, a live system that enables the operating system to be booted directly from a read-only CD-ROM. Company officials believe that because the product's code is on fixed media, it will be impossible for outsiders to manipulate the firewall software.

Hewlett-Packard will debut its HP Secure OS Software For Linux, expected to sell for $3,000 (£2,063). The OS will include version 2.4 of the Linux kernel, a variety of HP-developed open-source enhancements, and the Apache Web Server.

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