Red Hat's EMEA vice president Werner Knoblich told vnunet.com: "There is a huge opportunity for us because there is no reason left to stick with proprietary platforms. There is still so much potential; we are at the tip of the iceberg if you look at the Unix install base."
Enhanced features in Red Hat's version of the open source operating system include stronger security through integration of the National Security Agency's Security Enhanced Linux technology.
Red Hat said that moving to the 2.6 kernel also provided features such the new block I/O system that increases storage scalability. Other enhancements include kernel algorithm improvements to boost general system performance, virtual memory enhancements and non-uniform memory architecture support.
Knoblich maintained that the security boost will open new markets, especially in government, adding that the "ecosystem" surrounding the operating system had reached critical mass.
"The operating system is not just bits and bytes; it is the sum of everything and the ecosystem around it," he said.
Red Hat is also extending support for its operating systems from five to seven years, meaning that Enterprise Linux v4 will now be supported until 2012, because customers in telecoms and retail often use software for that long, according to Knoblich.
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