Japanese computer giant NEC will attempt to promote the use of open source software on its servers with a new testing and certification regime, it was announced today.
The $41bn a year corporation will cooperate with US-based open source services firm SpikeSource to protect its customers from potential incompatibilities between open source applications.
SpikeSource tests open source software, alone and in a wide variety of combinations, to detect compatibility issues and other problems.
Assuming that the tests are passed, the company then certifies a 'stack', or combination of integrated applications, as problem free. The company also distributes tested software and patches to its customers.
Under the agreement between the two firms, NEC will bundle open source infrastructure and application software with its NEC Express5800 series of servers, and rely on SpikeSource to make sure the software works correctly.
SpikeSource will also provide pre-tested software updates to NEC server users.
"NEC will refer independent software vendors to SpikeSource for inclusion on the Spike Ignite infrastructure platform," SpikeSource said in a statement.
"NEC will deliver SpikeSource infrastructure software on the NEC Express5800 Server product along with additional open source software solutions that will be included on the platform."
Toshihiko Takahashi, an executive vice president at NEC, added: "SpikeSource has developed world class solutions for small and large businesses and is a perfect fit for the NEC Express5800 Server platform."
According to SpikeSource, the new deal represents the first time NEC is bun dling open source infrastructure and solutions software on its hardware.
However, NEC has provided extensive support for open source applications on its server hardware for a number of years, and has an existing partnership agreement with leading Linux services vendor Red Hat.
The NEC Group employs more than 150,000 people worldwide and had net sales of approximately $41.2bn in fiscal 2006.
SpikeSource was established in 2004 and is headed by Kim Polese, who rose to prominence early in the dotcom era as a founder of 'push' technology firm Marimba.
The company uses an automated testing system capable of running through more than 100,000 combinations of applications per day to detect incompatibilities between open source programs.
SpikeSource recently won $24m in funding from NEC and other companies.
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