SuSE, SCO jump on UnitedLinux bandwagon

SuSE Linux AG,The SCO Group, and Ximian Inc. came out of the blocks fast in support of UnitedLinux 1.0, announcing on Tuesday new versions of their respective products that take full advantage of the new operating system.

The new server versions of Linux from SuSE and SCO Group, both being supported by IBM Corp. and Hewlett-Packard Co., are positioned to go head to head against market leader Red Hat Inc. SCO, however, will aim its offering at small and medium-size companies, while SuSE will focus mainly on corporate accounts.

SuSE's Linux Enterprise Server 8.0, which has been certified to operate with IBM's DB2, has a uniform code base for most major hardware platforms and is now available on Hewlett-Packard's ProLiant line of servers as well as that company's Itanium 2-based servers for both 32- and 64-bit Intel platforms.

Version 8.0 is also available on AMD-based 32- and 64-bit chips and IBM's complete line of eServer series, which SuSe officials believe will make it easier for corporate users to consolidate multivendor server environments.

At the announcement, company officials said they believe the new version is well suited to a range of mission-critical applications as well as for file and print and security services.

With the new version, SuSE officials said they have improved the product's administration and configuration capabilities through a tool called AutoYaST, which enables automated installation of a pre-determined, user-defined configuration of the operating system within a network environment.

This capability helps reduce administration costs and better ensures a higher quality rollout, the officials claimed.

Enterprise Server 8.0 will be available next month and will run on systems ranging from Intel-based servers up to mainframe-class machines. The Intel-based version will cost US$749.

The SCO Group, formerly known as Caldera Systems, released SCO Linux 4.0 and will offer guaranteed maintenance for the product for two years; SCO will provide a dedicated group of escalation engineers to work on fixes for the product. The company's support services include 24-by-7 emergency response lines. The company will also support any other Unix products based on the UnitedLinux code base.

The company will make four different versions of the product. The first version is the Base Edition, which costs US$599 and includes the Update maintenance service; the Classic Edition, priced at US$699, includes unlimited installation and configuration; the Business Edition lists for US$1,249 and includes unlimited technical support; and the Enterprise Edition, priced at US$2,199, includes unlimited technical support, the Update service, and guaranteed one-hour response during business hours.

Also throwing its weight behind UnitedLinux 1.0 was Ximian, which on Tuesday announced that its Red Carpet software management software would support SuSE's Enterprise 8.0 server, powered by UnitedLinux 1.0, sometime next year.

According to Ximian officials, users can better manage software installed and updated on their systems. Red Carpet's product is designed to keep Linux up-to-date with the latest features as well as resolve conflicts in mixed environments so users can more easily install and maintain software over a network.

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