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A Step Up For Linux Management

It could take years for the Linux lawsuits to be resolved. Companies face more immediate concerns in managing Linux within their IT environments.
As the battle for Linux's soul moves through the legal system, most companies are more interested in the more practical aspects of managing an open-source operating system that wasn't originally designed for use by large companies. Several software providers at LinuxWorld introduced new and updated apps to help make Linux a welcome addition to IT operations.

Aduva Inc. debuted OnStage 2.0, a suite of management apps used to develop, test, deploy, and change Linux-based systems. OnStage records the apps, operating systems, and other attributes of an IT environment so that these version numbers and settings can be quickly replicated onto new servers as the IT environment grows.

Companies today want to analyze what's on the box, analyze what changes have been made to the box, and address any problems that arise as a result of these changes, says Aduva marketing director Christine Johansen. Keeping an accurate, up-to-date audit of IT systems will be critical for companies looking to continue using Linux, regardless of how the court battles play out. "We're hearing from customers that they want to have a Plan B" if they're forced to remove Linux code, she says.

Aduva licenses its OnStage technology to BMC Software Inc. for its Deployment Manager for Linux product. BMC at LinuxWorld introduced a version of Deployment Manager that facilitates the remote deployment and management of Linux servers on both IBM zSeries mainframes and Intel-based systems. This latest version of Deployment Manager for Linux is the first to enable disk sharing across IBM virtual memory pages.

BMC this week also expanded its Linux Infrastructure Management support via new SmartDBA performance, administration, and recovery-management apps for Linux. SmartDBA lets database administrators manage IBM DB2 Universal Database and Oracle running on Linux servers from a common console.

Hewlett-Packard used LinuxWorld to introduce several Linux management applications, including ProLiant Essentials Rapid Deployment Pack for Linux, Serviceguard server-level management software for Linux, and ProLiant High Availability for Lotus Domino on Linux. Serviceguard supports Red Hat Enterprise Server and SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 8 and will be available for HP's 64-bit, Itanium-based Integrity line of servers later this year. HP and BEA Systems Inc., a provider of app infrastructure software, also expanded their alliance to deliver middleware and management software running on Linux servers.

All of these management developments bode well for Linux, says Mike Balma, HP's Linux business strategist. "In the past, it's been acknowledged that a lot of Linux management was command-line coding."