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6/22/2005
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SCO Makes Its Pitch With OpenServer 6

In a product launch at Yankee Stadium, The SCO Group on Wednesday is officially unveiling its much-anticipated OpenServer 6 software, which unifies the company's all-in-one, Web-based platform and Unix operating system.

The SCO Group on Wednesday is officially unveiling its much-anticipated OpenServer 6 software, which unifies the company's all-in-one, Web-based platform and Unix operating system.

Making its debut in a product launch at Yankee Stadium, OpenServer 6--code-named Project Legend--integrates the System V Release 5 Unix kernel of SCO UnixWare 7.0 with the Web-based OpenServer platform. The upgraded server allows ISVs and customers to develop Unix, Web and Java applications for Intel and AMD platforms on a single SCO code base, according to SCO.

Hewlett-Packard said it plans to offer a portfolio of SCO OpenServer 6 certifications for its ProLiant server platforms. The enhancements will increase speed and performance of applications on OpenServer, which allows customers to manage e-mail, collaboration, backup, mobile support and Internet access on low-cost commodity hardware, SCO said.

"The performance advantages of the Release 5 kernel will support the advanced features of various languages and database products," said David Westrheim, CEO of IntelliNet, a Vancouver, British Columbia-based SCO partner. "We anticipate a strong upgrade flow from our client base."

The upgrade offers up to two to four times the performance of the previous version and provides support for up to 32 processors, disk and network file sizes of up to 1 terabyte. It also brings increased memory support for 64-bit database applications and, through the inclusion of Unix System V release 5, multithreading support for C, C++ and Java applications through a POSIX interface. Major security enhancements include SSH support for secure remote login, an IP firewall filter for handling IP traffic and IPsec for secure virtual private networking.

OpenServer 6, however, doesn't include the full SCOx Web services platform, as was originally planned. Instead, SCO integrated Web services technology from SCOx that will allow customers to bring data from "green screen" mainframe environments into OpenServer 6. The upgrade offers the latest versions of Java 1.4.2 and popular open-source projects such as MySQL, PostgreSQL, the Apache Web server, the Tomcat Java Servelet, the Mozilla browser and the Samba file/print server. Customers can use the OpenServer desktop interface or the included KDE-based environment.

In the background of the OpenServer 6 launch, Lindon, Utah-based SCO remains embroiled in bitter lP litigation with IBM, Novell and Red Hat over the alleged use of System V Unix code in the Linux kernel, among other copyright issues. In the three years since SCO filed its case against IBM, some SCO partners and customers defected because they wanted to migrate to Linux or feared that SCO would lose its intellectual property battle and go out of business.

Still, loyal SCO partners said customers are ignoring the legal proceedings, and now solution providers hope that the software vendor can hit a home run with OpenServer 6.

Several SCO partners said they soon plan to migrate customers to OpenServer 6. Both the $599 standard edition and $1,399 enterprise edition are being released this week.

Michael Brown, president of The Kingsway Group, a solution provider and an SCO reseller based in Thornhill, Ontario, said his customers have started asking about OpenServer 6. "They want to ensure that it will be as rock-solid and bug-free as OpenServer Release 5, which will be a tough act to follow," he said. "We have already quoted OpenServer Release 6 to one location and will likely start migrating those customers, if it makes sense for them, after a few weeks."

Brown said that this weekend he plans to attend a "Test Fest" for partners sponsored by SCO, HP and iXorg in which OpenServer 6 will be put through the paces on new hardware, older servers and white boxes.

IntelliNet's Westrheim said he has been beta-testing OpenServer 6 and maintains that partners and customers won't be disappointed. "It is not only stable but lightning fast," he said. "OpenServer 6 is a great technology upgrade for us and our clients because it provides the Unix Release V kernel with the administrative and user interface of OpenServer, a strong preference of many of our clients over Linux and other pure Unix derivatives. "

Of the original raft of top Unix operating-system vendors, only Sun Microsystems and SCO have shown a commitment to enhance Unix over the long term. HP and IBM support their Unix offerings but have stated that they will focus on supporting Linux as their future platform of choice.

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