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Unisys continues down the open Linux road

Unisys, once a firm with a Windows-only mindset, plans to expand its partnerships with Novell and JBoss. One analyst called the move another example of a growing Linux community.

Continuing its trek down the Linux road, Unisys Corp. is expanding its partnerships with both Novell Inc. and JBoss Inc.

The Novell partnership is the result of Unisys achieving Novell SuSe Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) 9 certification on its Unisys ES7000 server line, while the JBoss deal consists of a multi-year agreement for Unisys to offer its enterprise customers production support for the JBoss Application Server.

The future of Linux is the enterprise.
Leo Daiuto
President of systems and technologyUnisys

With the Novell certification, Unisys can now boast that it is the only vendor to achieve SLES 9 certification for both 32-bit and 64-bit servers with up to 32 processors.

A server running 64-bit computing is important to technical, scientific and financial institutions or to those companies whose back-end database needs were starved for memory with a 32-bit system.

Carl Claunch, a vice president of research and advisory services at Stamford, Conn.-based Gartner Inc., said it has become critical for these companies that vendors sell a big 64-bit box.

Claunch said the news from Unisys shows how the company is fulfilling and expanding upon an initiative it made with Linux one year ago.

"[Unisys] had for many years depended on products growing in a Windows environment and because of this tight alignment, they had not been very responsive to Linux in the past," Claunch said.

However, he said that like many vendors Unisys had noticed that a substantial percentage of its customer base had started to request support for Linux applications. The demand initiated a turnaround within the company, and Claunch said he has seen Unisys "whole-heatedly" jump behind Linux.

Unisys' support of Linux is substantial for the Linux community, Claunch explained, because it gives the operating system access to a fairly high-end server in the ES7000 server line.

"This outlines a number of things [Unisys] has already been doing with both Red Hat and Novell and with key applications like JBoss and others," Claunch said. "This announcement is really centered on formally rolling out product support for Novell SuSE Linux [and] forming a real Linux community."

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Most importantly, Claunch said, it shows Unisys' strong commitment to Linux and that the company will continue to aggressively roll out support by making sure more of its products are certified on Linux.

"The future of Linux is the enterprise," said Leo Daiuto, president of systems and technology at Unisys. "We look forward to building upon this relationship with Novell as we expand the ecosystem around enterprise Linux, and scale the Linux environment to even greater heights."

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