Open Source Faithful, Major Vendors Gear Up For LinuxWorld - InformationWeek

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1/15/2004
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Open Source Faithful, Major Vendors Gear Up For LinuxWorld

Among the new products on display at the trade show next week: thin clients, laptops and workstations from Hewlett-Packard and SuSE; and security software from F-Secure.

The pace and volume of new product announcements is quickly accelerating in advance of LinuxWorld, the twice-annual trade show dedicated to the open-source operating system. It opens next week in New York City.

Among the major vendors planning to exhibit their wares at the Javits Center starting next Wednesday are AMD, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Novell, Intel, SGI, Sun, Oracle, SuSE, and Veritas.

Program tracks, a staple of IT industry expos, and keynote speeches by notables will include some dedicated to the financial services industry, said LinuxWorld's backer, IDG World Expo, with keynotes from people such as Jack Messman, the chairman and CEO of Novell, and Ross Mauri, the general manager of IBM's eBusiness on demand group on the agenda.

But it's the products that will make or break the show.

Some vendors got a jump on the competition by launching products this week that they'll be showing off at LinuxWorld.

Hewlett-Packard got ready for New York by boasting of its success in the Linux marketplace, and announcing products that will take spots in the Palo Alto, Calif. company's LinuxWorld booth.

HP pulled in more than $2.5 billion for its fiscal year 2003 from sales of Linux-based products, the printing and computing giant said Thursday, an increase of 40 percent over 2002.

To keep up the momentum, HP unveiled new disk-less workstations that tie with Linux servers running Linux Terminal Server Project, and certified several laptop and desktop models for use with SuSE's Linux distribution.

The new thin clients, dubbed the HP Compaq t5300 and t5500, are priced at $299 and $649, respectively, and are powered by Transmeta processors. The existing PCs that can now be purchased with SuSE Linux include the Compaq nc6000, nc8000, and nw8000 portables, and the Compaq D530 and D330 desktops.

Security vendor F-Secure joined the fray on Thursday by rolling out its SSH Server version 5.3 for Windows, and will strut the software in New York next week. Featuring support for Windows Services for Unix 3.5, which the Redmond, Wash.-based developer also launched Thursday, secures enterprise network traffic over Windows servers. Already compliant with the national security FIPS-140-1 standard, the server is in the process of obtaining certification with FIPS-140-2. Other new features in the updated security server include simpler file transfers, and support of RADIUS to allow better integration with other authentication services.

Storage Computer, another LinuxWorld exhibitor, said Thursday that it had launched its CyberNAS 64/Cluster network attached storage (NAS) software, and would showcase the new Linux storage clustering package at the expo. The software, which will be demonstrated on servers running AMD's 64-bit Opteron processors, supports up to 300 storage nodes and can be scaled up to total capacity of 9 terabytes, said Storage Computer.

While Microsoft will be at LinuxWorld touting its Windows Services for Unix (SFU) 3.5 -- tools which allow developers to recompile Linux and Unix applications to run on Windows platforms such as Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP -- smaller fish will also swim with Microsoft at the show.

StarNet, for example, on Thursday announced Desktop-X 2.0, a utility that works in conjunction with SFU 3.5 to display X Windows applications on Windows-based PCs. The utility automatically boots whenever an X Windows app is launched on a PC drawing the application from a Windows Server 2003 hosting ported Unix software. Pricing starts at $99 per user, with volume discounts available, said StarNet.

Other vendors planning to put new products on the exhibit floor include Aspen Systems, which will introduce a new Linux-based blade server -- the Glacier Xeon Blade Server System -- that as its moniker implies, packs Intel's Xeon processors. MySQL AB, the German open-source database maker, will announce MySQL Administrator at LinuxWorld; the software relies on a graphical interface to monitor and manage all MySQL database servers in an enterprise. And Net Integration Technologies will debut something called Standalone Ntix Autonomic Linux Server Operating System, a variation of Linux that promises autonomic server features, including backup, collaboration, messaging, secure connections to the Internet, and protected data storage.

But not everyone in the Linux arena will be at LinuxWorld. This week, a Virginia custom software provider announced it would fill the gap left by Red Hat's recent decision to drop support for older versions of Red Hat Linux with a new line of support programs geared toward businesses and government agencies that don't want to upgrade their operating systems.

gOSapps' Green CapT Support plans will step in with support for Red Hat 7.2, 7.3, 8.0, and 9.0, both by offering 24/7 help desk access and delivering Linux security patches and updated drivers. Red Hat has discontinued support for versions 7.2 through 8.0, and will stop supporting version 9.0 at the end of April.

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