Middleware releases aim to make open source more attractive option for SMEs

Open source systems for small and medium-sized enterprises featured strongly at the LinuxWorld user conference in Boston last week.

Open source systems for small and medium-sized enterprises featured strongly at the LinuxWorld user conference in Boston last week.

IBM, Novell, Intel and Avnet teamed up to release a middleware suite designed to make it easier for firms to integrate Linux servers into Windows environments.

The suppliers' Integrated Stack for Linux includes Websphere Application Server Community Edition, which is based on the open source Apache Geronimo web application server, the DB2-Express C database, and Intel-based IBM eServer xSeries servers, blades and storage hardware. Novell's SuSE Linux Enterprise Server software completes the bundle.

Also at the conference, IBM and Red Hat said that Enterprise Linux version 4 was nearing completion and had successfully completed a Common Criteria evaluation certifying its security for use by governments and government agencies for mission-critical operations.

During the conference JBoss released an open source version of a formerly commercial transaction server - the central part of a middleware stack.

The products are available for download as part of the JBoss Enterprise Middleware Suite and include JBoss Transactions 4.2, JBoss Rules 3.0, and JBoss jBPM (Business Process Management) 3.1 .

JBoss Transactions 4.2 is the re-branded Arjuna TS transaction management software JBoss acquired last year from Hewlett-Packard and Arjuna Technologies.

JBoss's middleware works with or without the core JBoss application server. The three products are available free, unsupported, but annual subscriptions which include support start at a meaty $7,500 for JBoss Rules or jBPM.

According to analyst firm Gartner's latest quarterly Worldwide Server statistics, Linux is the fastest growing operating system in terms of the numbers of suites being used.

Web support for Linux roll-outs

Intel and Red Hat have built a global web-based programme to help users plan for, accelerate and optimise their deployments of Linux systems. Claiming to be the first of its kind for Linux implementations, it will focus initially on developing tools for enterprise computing virtualisation.

"We are responding to what customers have told us they really need to support their advanced deployments of Linux and open source," said Tim Yeaton, executive vice-president of enterprise solutions at Red Hat.

"The programmes Intel and Red Hat have selected are aimed at equipping customers with in-depth domain knowledge and providing core data to make complex architectural decisions."


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