Red Hat and Computer Associates (CA) struck a partnership deal this week that pushes Linux into new competitive ground - the business management software market dominated by Unix and Microsoft systems.
CA has agreed to sell the open source software distributor's business support agreements to its Unicenter TNG clients. Red Hat will in return distribute CA's business management software with its Linux Enterprise Edition.
"This is one of the weakest areas for Linux," said George Weiss, a Linux analyst at researcher GartnerGroup. "A vacuum has existed which is being filled. It boosts Red Hat quite significantly as the foremost Linux distribution that the large software vendors are porting to."
On a cautionary note, Weiss questioned how companies can integrate a Linux server or client in an otherwise heterogeneous environment that will have Unix.
Red Hat president Matthew Szulik said the biggest challenge for Linux has been "accelerating high-quality applications running on the Red Hat Linux distribution".
"Customers don't buy an operating solution but an integrated solution. We have focused on ease of acquisition, deployment and service through the bundling agreement and the extension of our relationship with CA," he added.
CA president Sanjay Kumar said the demand is "customer-driven. Some 48 per cent of customers said Linux would be part of their platform strategy."
The new CA/Red Hat products include:
- ARCserveIT for Red Hat Linux - a storage product for data protection, management and automation required by ebusiness applications
- InoculateIT for Red Hat Linux - providing virus protection for Linux machines
- MasterIT for Red Hat Linux - offering Linux-based Web management capabilities for high performance and availability
- NetworkIT for Red Hat - centralised management software for ebusiness networks aligning service levels with business objectives and services.
Red Hat and CA plan a percentage split of product resale and general availability is scheduled for April. Prices are not yet finalised.
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