SuSE and Turbolinux combine to run IBM servers

Linux operating systems vendors SuSE Linux AG and Turbolinux Inc. are partnering to offer versions of their products for three lines of IBM Corp. servers in the Asian, European and U.S. markets.

In an announcement Thursday, Turbolinux said it will merge its multilanguage support and related key features to SuSE Linux Enterprise Server to create separate new versions that each company will sell in its core marketplaces by the end of the year.

For SuSE, that will be in Europe and the U.S. For Turbolinux, the target market will be the Asia-Pacific area.

The alliance will feature engineering collaboration and joint sales and marketing.

The products will be available for IBM eServer zSeries mainframes and iSeries and pSeries servers.

The deal is seen as a boost for SuSE's efforts to get more exposure and sales in Asia, where the sales leader is Turbolinux.

"We need a reseller and distributor in the Asian market," said Holger Dyroff, general manager of the Americas for Germany-based SuSE. SuSE will sell the enhanced product as SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 8.

Michael Jennings, director of U.S. operations for Japan-based Turbolinux, said that by working together, the two companies can gain market share and increase their expertise.

He said the new customized products will simplify IBM's offerings to customers on the three lines of IBM machines.

The new products, Jennings said, won't compete with the upcoming UnitedLinux project, which brings together SuSE, Turbolinux and two other Linux vendors that are creating a standardized version of Linux for business computing. UnitedLinux operating systems will be aimed at Intel-based systems and not at IBM's z, i or eSeries servers, he said.

Pricing isn't yet available for the new operating systems.

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