OPSM sees future with Linux

Eyewear retail chain OPSM has chosen Linux for its IT infrastructure which will see some 550 servers deployed in three countries over the next six months.

Following a satisfactory pilot project, OPSM will deploy Novell's SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 9 (SLES) with the Zenworks management suite. According to a statement from Novell, it won the deal ahead of Microsoft and competing Linux vendor Red Hat. The servers will be deployed in Australia, New Zealand, and Hong Kong.

The store servers will run a version of SLES operating system for store trading, printing, communications, online queries, and will use OpenOffice for office productivity.

OPSM's group IT manager Alex Chisholm said Novell's Linux solutions were chosen to facilitate platform consolidation.

"Novell was a logical fit in our IT strategy on a number of levels," Chisholm said. "Our previous system was Linux which was a successful and reliable platform; however, our network operating systems and e-mail [infrastructure] are provided by Novell and adopting a Novell solution for our online store network complied with our strategy of reducing the number of IT suppliers."

Chisholm said with SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 9 OPSM can apply security-related upgrades from a central point, with full control and reporting.

"Within this more secure and up-to-date environment we can better ensure the integrity of our business information and transactions," he said. "Due to our large number of store locations we also needed a system that could be centrally managed and monitored. Novell's Zenworks Linux Management offers greater control as it will enable us to update our operating systems and applications from one central point with fewer interruptions to users. We'll also be able to support an increasing number of stores without increasing our IT staff numbers."

Novell Asia Pacific's director of sales and marketing David Lenz, said the deal was a major strategic win for Novell and reflected the growing momentum of Linux as a viable open source platform at the enterprise level.

"OPSM [was] looking for a secure and cost-effective solution to manage and update its entire retail network and Novell SuSE Linux provided a good fit," Lenz said. "A growing number of enterprises are adopting Linux as their platform of choice because of its reliability, scalability, security and cost."

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