Sybase opens Linux showcase center in New York

Database software vendor Sybase Inc. Monday launched a Linux Competency Center in New York for customers to learn more about its products, and it unveiled plans to port all of its software to Linux by next year.

In an announcement Monday, Dublin, Calif.-based Sybase said the center will be fully equipped with a wide range of hardware and software to allow customers to see how Sybase applications on Linux can benefit their businesses. The center will include a development and test center, as well as technical resources and financial services specialists for on-site support and advice for migrations to Linux.

The facility will also feature hardware and software from Dell Computer Co., Hewlett-Packard Co., IBM Corp., Intel Corp., Red Hat Inc., Sun Microsystems Inc. and others.

"Customers will be able to come and see" up close how Sybase on Linux can help their businesses, said Raj Nathan, senior vice president and general manager of Sybase's Infrastructure Platform Group. "We're seeing some very good performance numbers in the Linux space."

The new center is located at 1114 Avenue of the Americas, in Sybase's New York offices. It follows the creation last fall of a similar facility by IBM, which established its Linux showcase center in Midtown Manhattan.

Sybase also announced plans to have all of its applications ready for Linux by next year.

The company already offers Adaptive Server Enterprise, an enterprise-class relational database management system, as well as Enterprise Application Server, Replication Server and a few others for Linux. By next year, all of the rest, including the Sybase IQ highly scalable analytical database, Enterprise Portal and Sybase Integration Suite, will be available for Linux, according to the company.

"This is really motivated by customers' interests," Nathan said. "This is not an academic exercise. Customers are beginning to see it" as a good fit for their businesses.

Jim Johnson, an analyst at The Standish Group in West Yarmouth, Mass., called Sybase's broadening support for Linux "a good thing for Sybase and for Sybase users. They'll benefit from it."

The coming applications will give businesses a chance to run even more mission-critical work under Linux, he said. "I'm surprised, if anything, that it took so long in this case."

Johnson said research from The Standish Group has shown Sybase to have among the lowest total cost of ownership among similar products. "Linux is becoming the alternative, I think, to Windows in the enterprise more and more," he said. "This is another step in that movement."

Dushyant Shahrawat, an analyst at TowerGroup in Needham, Mass., said Sybase's move to run all its apps on Linux is "very positive for the Linux community." For every vendor such as Sybase that jumps on the Linux bandwagon, there are perhaps 50 to 100 major user companies that gain Linux as an option, he said. "Overall, I think it's a very good move ahead from a major software vendor."

In a related announcement, Sybase said it has broadened an existing agreement with Linux vendor Red Hat to certify the latest Sybase enterprise-class data management applications on Red Hat Enterprise Linux server operating systems.

Among the newly certified applications are Sybase Adaptive Server Enterprise 12.5, Replication Server 12.5, Open Client 12.5 and Open Server 12.5 on Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

Under the deal, Sybase and Red Hat will collaborate on engineering development, training and support and will exchange technology road maps to coordinate activities in serving customers. The two companies will also jointly provide support to customers for the applications.

"Working with Sybase is critical to our pursuit of the global expansion of the Red Hat Enterprise Linux platform," Mike Evans, vice president of channel sales and development at Red Hat, said in a statement. "Sybase's participation in our Premier Partner program and certification of its data management solutions on Red Hat Enterprise Linux gives customers more options when deploying Red Hat Enterprise Linux in their organization."

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