MasterTrade unplugs Linux

A prominent New Zealand Linux site is to ditch the open source operating system over the next 12 to 18 months, but not for reasons of performance.

MasterTrade, acquired by Australia's Crane Group in December 2001, will be part of Crane's Australasia-wide rollout of JD Edwards' OneWorld on Unix and will ultimately drop the RedHat Linux it runs on 300 desktops in 45 branches nationwide.

MasterTrade, a Christchurch-based building supplier, has merged with Cory's Electrical, also owned by Crane. Cory's began running NCD ThinStars off MasterTrade's RedHat Linux server in June.

Both will shift to the Unix-JD Edwards platform over time, but it has nothing to do with the performance of Linux , says Crane Group CIO Andrew Dunn.

"It's one of those things that happens when you're standardising to a common approach."

The JD Edwards rollout, under way in Australia, has been extended to New Zealand's Mico Metals, a part of Mico Wakefield which is also owned by Crane. It's at an advanced stage of preparation at Mico Plumbing, Dunn says.

Crane, a plumbing supplies firm, is part way through an $A71 million overhaul of its IT systems which, in addition to the JD Edwards rollout, includes standardising on Sun and HP-Compaq servers and desktops and using SunRay terminals in distribution.

"We've got a United Nations of hardware at the moment," says Dunn.

MasterTrade installed Linux in 2000. Former data processing manager Neil Helson told Computerworld that 12 months after installation there had been no crashes.

A JD Edwards spokesman says JD Edwards ERP systems such as OneWorld don't run on Linux, though a module of its CRM software can.