Hewlett-Packard has expanded its support for Linux by guaranteeing that the JBoss application server and the MySQL open-source database will work together on its ProLiant blade servers running that operating system.
JBoss recently passed certification as Java 2 Enterprise Edition compliant, as commercial application servers have done, a $500,000 testing expense. And for the first time, JBoss is showing up in research firm IDC's most recent report on the application-server market, with 1.2% of the market based on revenue. Since JBoss users don't buy a license the way commercial application-server customers do--they pay just for maintenance--IDC concludes that JBoss implementations are increasing rapidly for the open-source product to show up on its list.
HP already certified the Apache Web server and OpenLDAP directory server to run on its servers and calls the complete open-source software set its Linux reference architecture. HP has expanded its ranks of Linux technicians from 5,000 to 6,500 over the last 18 months. The company realized $2.5 billion in revenue from Linux sales and service in 2003 and is looking to boost that total in 2004, says Jeffrey Wade, manager of Linux marketing communications. It's one of the few vendors to indemnify customers against Linux patent-infringement suits.
"Linux has matured, with more and more applications available," Wade says. "It's reaching further into line-of-business operations." Wade notes that the Weather Channel has switched from high-end, 12-processor Unix machines to Linux on four- and eight-way Intel servers. Kevin Gungiah, director of system administration at the Weather Channel, says the conversion is 78% complete and will be 100% converted by the end of next year. He says his company expects to save $200,000 a year for each of the next three years on hardware and software expenses as a result.