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Linux Gets Real

If you run a network, you can't rely on Linux, right? Because it's Open Source software, you can't get support for it, there's no standard version you can rely on, and its proponents are a wild-eyed group of geeks intent on ending computing and the economy as we know it.

Wrong, wrong, and wrong again. I spent some time a LinuxWorld in Boston last week, and found out that Linux is real and it's here to stay.

The technology is showing serious signs of maturing. Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 was launched at the show. And Novell, the former networking giant, is trying to rebuild itself largely as a Linux shop, as its Novell Open Enterprise Server shows.

On display were products and technologies which proves that Linux is making its way into the heart of the enterprise and data center. For example, Novell's data center plans call for advanced clustering, security and management services for Linux.

IBM, meanwhile, has pledged to spend $100 million over the next three years to boost Workplace support for Linux, which provides server-asserted provisioning as well as management of desktop applications. And HP, with its Linux Reference Architectures, has become a major Linux player as well.

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