In a move that will prove a major boost to the open source community, Hewlett Packard (HP) is to offer open source Linux servers in its forthcoming lines based on the Intel Itanium 2 chip.
An existing partnership between HP and Linux expert Red Hat will see the pair become the first to market with Linux-compatible Itanium 2-based platforms.
As part of the deal, all HP ProLiant servers, blade servers and Itanium 2-based servers and workstations will be available with the certified Red Hat Linux Advanced Server, the companies said.
HP co-developed the Itanium instruction set architecture and said that the deal would provide more choice to enterprise IT managers, given the growing popularity of Linux.
"It's clear that Linux is gaining ground with commercial applications," said Peter Blackmore, executive vice president of HP's enterprise systems group.
Analysts are keen on the partnership, citing open source as a major growth area in the enterprise.
"The Linux industry continues to expand, with most of the unit growth in 2001 coming from Linux client and workstation operating system shipments," said Al Gillen, a research director at analyst group IDC.
"IDC's expectation for Linux server operating environment new licence revenue shipments remains strong, with forecasts calling for a 19.7 per cent compound annual growth rate through 2006."
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