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IBM Sticks Novell in the Corner

Novell - which got into Linux on IBM's nickel - has wandered off the reservation and is now hugging Microsoft, IBM's heredity en

OK, let's sit up and try to follow these moves.

So Novell - which got into Linux on IBM's nickel - has wandered off the reservation and is now hugging Microsoft, IBM's heredity enemy, around the knees seeking market redemption.

Although otherwise a weak sister Novell has always been the de facto standard Linux on the mainframe, a distinctly and irreplaceably IBM market.

So now IBM, which brought Novell into the mix so Red Hat wouldn't turn into another Microsoft, has cut a deal with Red Hat "to encourage the dramatic growth of Red Hat Enterprise Linux on IBM System z mainframes" - according to the lead sentence in the Wednesday press release.

Makes one think the Armonk carrier pigeon just pooped on Novell's new hat.

And this is just the beginning.

According to System z boss Jim Stallings, IBM and Red Hat intend "to deliver more scalability, security and reliability to enterprise Linux mainframe solutions" and make RHEL easier to deploy on the z Series.

There's a joint engineering team in formation and they say "IBM and Red Hat technical teams have agreed to work together with the open source community as well as within Red Hat's engineering organization to investigate ways to accelerate and enhance Red Hat Enterprise Linux on System z."

Immediately they're touting Red Hat's so-called security advantages like its Security Enhanced Linux (SELinux) and its Labeled Security Protection Profile (LSPP) Common Criteria certification - which IBM helped it get to cater to the government class managing secure access to classified and non-classified data.

As they point out, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 is the first Linux operating system to ship with native support for the functionality necessary to meet Common Criteria for Trusted Operating Systems. And IBM is sponsoring the EAL 4+ certification of the new RHEL 5 on System z.

Red Hat and the IBM System z group have bucked up their pre-sales and post-sales technical support. Red Hat has dedicated technical staff to System z and committed engineering resources and says it will name System z lead architects in each of its major geographies.

Red Hat has also created an enhanced professional and support services offering suite including configuration review, architecture consultation and on-site technical account manager support.

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Virtualization News 05/12/07 11:19:18 AM EDT

OK, let's sit up and try to follow these moves. So Novell - which got into Linux on IBM's nickel - has wandered off the reservation and is now hugging Microsoft, IBM's heredity enemy, around the knees seeking market redemption. Although otherwise a weak sister Novell has always been the de facto standard Linux on the mainframe, a distinctly and irreplaceably IBM market.