IBM Adds Linux-Ready Database Package

IBM Corp. Friday announced Linux-ready database and Web server packages for enterprise customers.

The new products will allow IBM's DB2 database to be used on Intel-based cluster servers and also on IBM zSeries2 and S/390 servers, all under Linux, the company said.

In addition, IBM is now offering its WebSphere Application Server for zSeries and S/390 servers or Linux servers running on Intel-based servers.

The products offer several firsts in the Linux world, according to Martin Marshall, an analyst with Zona Research Inc. of Redwood City, Calif. They mark the first time that DB2 is available for use on Linux clusters, and the first time that WebSphere for Linux will be available for the S/390 server, he said. In addition, this is first time that DB2 will be offered for Linux mainframe use.

Dan Kusnetzky, an analyst with International Data Corp. (IDC) of Framingham, Mass., called Friday's announcement evidence that IBM is following through on its past support of Linux.

"They're acting like Linux is a strategic platform for them," Kusnetzky said. "It looks like they're doing what they committed to doing."

Last year, Linux became the No. 2 operating system in new server shipments with 1.3 million licenses, according to IDC figures. IDC anticipates Linux will remain the fastest-growing server operating system through 2004, with a compound annual growth rate of 28 percent from 2000 to 2004.

Earlier this week, IBM announced the sale of a major commercial Linux installation to Telia, Scandinavia's largest telecommunications and Internet service provider. Under the deal, Telia will replace 70 existing Web-hosting Unix servers with a single IBM S/390 server.

George Weiss, an analyst with Gartner Group Inc. in Stamford, Conn., said the new releases are evidence of IBM's recent strategy of riding Linux "as an operating system that will enable more software sales."

"It is very evident that this is an IBM-proprietarized view of the world of Linux," Weiss said. "That's not bad for the Linux community, but it certainly doesn't seem to me to be a compelling force in terms of why I should run WebSphere or DB2 on a Linux operating system vs. Unix."

The pricing for the new products and their availability dates are:

- DB2 Enterprise-Extended Edition for Intel-based clusters on Linux, US$22,500 per processor, available Dec. 15.

- DB2 Enterprise Edition (EE) for IBM zSeries(2) and S/390 lines, $17,500 per processor, available Dec. 15.

- WebSphere Application Server, Advanced Edition, Version 3.5, for zSeries and S/390 servers, $7,500 per processor, available Jan. 26.

- WebSphere Application Server, Standard Edition, Version 3.5, for Linux on Intel servers, $795 per processor, available Dec. 22.

The company has more information about its Linux initiatives at a Linux at IBM portion of its Web site.

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