Hewlett Packard will later today unveil new products and services to extend its support for Linux at the LinuxWorld conference in San Francisco.
The vendor will expand its thin client t5000 desktop workstation range into Linux territory for the first time, and will extend support for Linux on Integrity servers configured beyond four-way and open out its reference architecture to include open source software.
The HP Compaq t5515 comes bundled with management software from Altiris for deploying, maintaining and updating HP thin clients, where the software resides on the server instead of the desktop's own system.
The t5515 joins the t5300, t5500 and t5700 in the range but, while they are recommended for use with Windows, the t5515 is the first to be recommended for use with commercial flavours of Linux from vendors like Red Hat and Novell.
Gary Barnett, research director at analyst Ovum, pointed out that the prospect of a well managed thin client Linux environment is all the more possible now that Citrix has a very good networking product for thin client environments running Linux.
Support for Linux on HP's high-end servers has also been introduced for HP Integrity Superdome and mid-range HP Integrity rx7620-16 and rx8620-32 servers.
"The important thing is that HP is in the Linux game, demonstrating that it is investing research and development dollars and is one of the key vendors working in the Linux space," said Barnett.
"You would expect a big push in Linux from HP on its servers. And, while HP might not sell a huge a number of its new Linux desktop products, it's an important step in the right direction to a viable Windows alternative on the desktop."
HP will also reveal that it has invested in its long-term future by supporting BEA's Beehive open source Java development initiative.
The vendor is also adding open source middleware from MySQL, JBoss, Apache and OpenLDAP to its reference architecture's software options.
This packaged Novell and Red Hat operating system bundles on ProLiant blade servers along with consulting and integration services.
It already covers Oracle Database and Real Application Clusters or BEA's WebLogic Server products.
Jeffrey Wade, worldwide marketing communications manager at HP, said: "Two concerns customers have today are where to get support for a Linux open source environment, and what applications actually run in a Linux environment. With this programme we can address these top concerns."
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