Motorola is launching a Linux operating system for the telecoms industry, which it guarantees will offer 99.999 per cent availability.
High Availability Linux (HA Linux) is targeted at carrier-grade networking, wireless and internet applications, and is expected to ship in May. The guarantee means that servers should not be down for more than five minutes a year.
HA Linux has a hot-swap capability which permits systems components, such as processors, power suppliers and cards, to be changed without having to shut the computer down.
Kirsten Ludvigsen, an analyst at researcher IDC, said: "Linux is a very stable operating environment, but it has not had hot-swap capabilities built into it before."
"Telcos can now buy Linux off the shelf instead of having to do all the programming themselves. Linux is cost efficient compared with typical Unix equipment."
HA Linux, which will support Intel and PowerPC-based servers, will provide active-standby support and processor support enabling applications to continue service while switching to a backup process.
John Hughes, vice president and director of Motorola Computer Group's telecoms business unit, said: "HA Linux is proof that Linux is ready for deployment in applications needing 99.999 per cent reliability in the telecoms infrastructure."
Natural Microsystems is using HA Linux with its own call-handling hardware. The company is integrating its digital signal processing and network interface modules with HA Linux.
Brough Turner, Natural Microsystems' senior vice president of technology, said: "Developers can create voice and data applications and services with 99.999 per cent availability and get to market quickly."
"Because we are supporting very large numbers of calls on each resource board, it is important that our customers are able to hot swap all components using Linux in this high-availability environment."
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