Calling it the "One Source Alliance", Dell Computer on Tuesday made Red Hat's Linux the company's "third strategic operating system", joining Microsoft's Windows and Novell's NetWare, which the Texas-based computer maker already installs, according to Michael Lambert, senior vice president of the Enterprise Systems Group at Dell.
"We've seen considerable growth to the Linux operating system," Lambert said.
Dell hopes to broaden its offering of Red Hat Linux into the next-generation internet space.
"We see immediate opportunity for (Red Hat Linux) in the internet appliance space and the rack-dense front-end server market," Lambert said.
Mentioning Sun Microsystems by name, Lambert said Dell's adoption of Red Hat Linux would allow the company to compete directly with Sun's Solaris operating system, which has a firm grip on the rack-dense front-end server market.
Dell will also promote and develop a Red Hat Linux offering that will operate on Intel's upcoming IA-64 architecture, scheduled to arrive later this year.
"(Red Hat Linux) will grow to be used in more mission-critical data centres currently dominated by Unix," Lambert added.
All Dell Solution Centres will be fully Linux-enabled to provide support.