IBM Readies File System Software for Linux

Seeing a rise in demand for Linux among corporate customers, IBM's Transarc subsidiary is preparing to release versions of its enterprise file system software for the open-source Unix variant.

Transarc on Dec. 1 will announce versions of its AFS Server and AFS Client for Linux. Shipment is slated for February, according to company officials.

The Linux port promises interoperability between Linux and Microsoft Windows and other versions of Unix operating systems, according to Gail Koerner, manager of file systems product management at Transarc.

Historically popular among academic organizations, Linux has cropped up on the product wish lists of IBM's large corporate customers, according to Koerner.

"These are worldwide commercial organizations -- large electronics firms, manufacturers, telecommunications companies, government agencies, and financial companies -- a real interesting mix for us. We decided that, at least in our customer base, there was a business to be had," she said.

The Linux release is based on the latest version of AFS, Version 3.5, which sports improved performance, caching, backup, and scalability, according to Koerner. IBM next week will also announce that version's availability on Windows NT.

The initial AFS release for Linux is certified for Red Hat's version.

AFS Server for Linux is priced starting at US$1,995, with the AFS Client for Linux staring at $99 per user. Server pricing for unlimited numbers of users is $6,495. AFS Server for Windows NT is also priced at $1,995.

Information on AFS can be found at http://www.software.ibm.com.

IBM Corp., in Armonk, New York, is at http://www.ibm.com. Transarc can be reached at http://www.transarc.com.

(Ted Smalley Bowen is InfoWorld's Boston bureau chief.)

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