Linux bandwagon grows

Momentum behind the Linux platform will soon surge again with both Hewlett-Packard and Tivoli Systems planning to extend their management platforms to the open-source Linux platform, according to high-ranking officials at the two companies.

In addition, Compaq is expected to Linux-enable its Alpha systems soon, according to a source familiar with Compaq's plans. Also, Lotus officials last week confirmed that the company plans to release Notes on Linux before the end of the year in response to market demand.

In the midst of growing Linux activity, Linux inventor Linus Torvalds this week plans to announce Version 2.2.0 of the Linux kernel, which will feature improvements in file systems, multiprocessing and security, as well as platform support for Sparc64, Alpha, and PowerPC.

Detecting an opportunity to move to the forefront of the Linux arena, HP is likely to port its OpenView network management system to Linux in the near future, a move characterised as a "no-brainer" by HP's Nigel Ball, general manager of Internet and Applications Systems. HP, which is a major Microsoft partner for NT in the enterprise, is also considering making available support services for Linux, according to HP sources.

IBM, meanwhile, has slowly been expanding is Linux commitment, first with beta releases of its DB2 database and Transarc network file system, and now with pending support from Lotus and Tivoli.

"We have done a fair amount of engineering, and have a version of Tivoli running Linux in our labs," said Tom Bishop, chief technology officer at Tivoli Systems."

On the hardware front, a source familiar with Compaq's plans said the company will announce support for Linux on its Alpha systems this week, and that various support and development programs are planned.

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